Kid Sleep: Fast Tips; Better Nights At Last!

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Don't go bonkers over your child's whacky sleep patterns. Our fast tips for better kid sleep are of the snoozing matter!

Your little one’s getting out of bed and climbing into yours.  Or why does your 6-year-old wake up screaming in the middle of the night? Should you just permit bed-sharing? Why does your boy snore so much?

    The precious commodity known as sleep is just that — a commodity. You’re often in search of what will work to improve your child’s sleep (so yours will be better!) so we’ve put together some tips from other parents who have been there.
    Meanwhile, if you’ve tried everything and your convinced your child’s sleep issues are wrapped up in a disorder, find local resources for help below our tips.

Savvy Tips for Kid Sleep

  1. Even if you don’t want your child sleeping in your bed, you can put a futon or cot at the end of your bed so if your child wakes in the night he can come and sleep on it without waking you up.
  2. Some kids just need to feel the presence of “something” — a body pillow may be just the thing.
  3. Have you tried a Gro Clock? It uses simple light-up pictures of a sun and start to differentiate between day and night. You set the times for the images to change.
  4. Sometimes being tucked in tight works for children. If a child feels snug, it may work to give him a good night’s sleep.
  5. Take turns with night time parenting if your child is very wakeful. Not fair if only one of you is doing the getting up.
  6. Try taping your voice reading a bed time story so your child can listen to you even if you’re not there.
  7. Books on CD work for some kids at bedtime. Ringo Starr reading Thomas the Tank!
  8. Keep nap times short during the day so night time sleep goes better.
  9. Some kids can fall asleep better with a projector and screen. Believe it or not.
  10. Massage is a deep soother for anybody. Use a massage oil (a couple of drops).
  11. Know that the blue light that emits from digital screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin. That’s why it’s smart to impose a digital curfew on your kids before you start a bedtime routine.
  12. Have a bedtime routine! Start it when children are young and stick to it for the best sleep results.

Local Resources for Kid Sleep

Info Parent Sheet on Kids’ Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation

Good Night’s Sleep Tip Sheet
The National Sleep Foundation

Children’s Hospital Sleep Program
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
615-343-7617

Board-certified pediatric sleep specialists treat children and teens with airway-related sleep problems. The program treats altered sleep patterns, incomnias, night terrors, sleep walking, sleep apnea, breathing problems, snoring and narcolepsy.

Pediatric Sleep Center
The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial
615-653-4656
Offers a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of children’s sleep disorders.

Center for Sleep at St. Thomas Health
615-284-7537
Child atients are guided by physicians and technologists  with specialities in pediatric services.

Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee
Three locations in the area.

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Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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