Once families have made the decision to start sleep coaching many of them want to get started right away, often that night, but before starting it is important to do a little homework including setting up a calm, cozy, sleep friendly bedroom. This is because if a bedroom is over stimulating, too noisy or too bright it will be hard for your child to sleep even when you are putting forth great efforts into helping them learn the skill of sleep. But by spending a little bit of time and following these few simple tips before you start sleep coaching you will help to set the stage for success.
1. Make the room dark.
It is important to use the right shades or curtains that block out light and make the room dark. If the room is too bright it will be harder for your child to fall asleep at bedtime and during the day for naps, and can cause them to wake up too early in the morning. While many children prefer total darkness if your little one sleeps better when there is a little bit of light then you can leave a dim night-light on for them.
2. Keep in quiet but not too quiet.
While a quiet, sound proof room is ideal for sleeping often that is just not practical so instead play white noise to help muffle external noises such as older siblings, loud neighbors, barking dogs, cars going down the street and general noises. It is true that most children do learn to sleep through routine household noises often children can be more sensitive to noise and have a harder time being willing to shut out the outside world and playing continuous white noise will allow them to block it all out.
3. Check the temperature.
Studies have shown that most people sleep better in a cool room with a temperature between 68-72F.
4. Make the room boring.
I like to tell clients that they should try to bore their children to sleep. These means that you should limit the number of toys and books in their crib or bed, and definitely remove any televisions, computers or electronics from their bedroom. You want them to be able to wind down and make the transition from wakefulness to sleeping and not use toys to help them fight off sleep.
By doing a little bit of homework before you start sleep coaching you will be helping to set your child up for success at sleeping through the night.
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