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Tips For Getting Your Child To Sleep Through The Night

I'm going to be sharing with you some tips for getting your child to sleep through the night. I don't think there's anything more frustrating to a tired parent then when the child won't go to sleep or when the child wakes up in the middle of the night repeatedly, that's so hard. 

In this article, we're going to be talking about what to do to prepare the child to go to sleep and stay there but then also what to do if the child wakes up in the middle of the night and how to handle that in a loving and supportive way and also help them to go back to bed.

I have 4 children of my own and there's something that I've noticed and that is that you have to train a child to go to bed when they're a baby but then they hit about 18 months old and all of a sudden they want to get up again all the time in the middle of the night. I remember when I was expecting one of my babies and my other child was like 18 months old and I thought to myself, "Oh, good.

I get to have at least a few months of sleep before this new baby comes and I'll be waking up again every couple of hours in the night." and then guess what happened? My 18-month-old son started waking up all the time right before the baby came. I thought, "No, what's going on?" So, this is a normal occurrence that can happen. In fact, lots of times during times of growth.

So, Do you know when there are those growth spurts that happen? Sometimes children are more restless and don't sleep as well when they're having a growth spurt. So, you do need to recognize that that can be a thing. 

And right around 18 months, that's a big growth spurt time, they also start thinking about a lot more things. So, as the brain matures, it's going to have more of a tendency to get caught in thought, right? This will help the child wake up more often or stay up and have a harder time going to sleep.

So, just keep that in mind, there are some times when children will just wake up. Now, also there are nightmares, okay? I'm not going to be talking about nightmares necessarily, but that is another reason that children might wake up in the middle of the night and they may not even be able to tell you exactly what it was what happened that got them afraid or made them wake up, and of course, going to the bathroom, potty, that's another one that gets a child to wake up in the night. So, let's talk about what we can do to decrease the disruptions in the night and what to do when they occur.

How do we decrease the disruptions in the night? Well, we prepare the person to go to bed. When my children were little, I taught them a skill. So, I'm all about skillsets because I teach self-government so I teach parents all kinds of things like how to teach their child to follow instructions, to accept "no" answers, to disagree appropriately, things like that and so I thought, 

"Well, I think we need to teach a skill set for going to bed." Now, technically going to bed is the following instruction skill but I wanted to make it even more specific to that go-to bedtime. So, what I did is I took my toddlers in the day and I would say, "Now, it's not really bedtime but we're gonna play a game that's called it's time for bed. 

Do you want to play it with me?" and then every time we do it really well then we're gonna have a treat and then I had some little like fruit snacks or something that they would be interested in earning for their little treat.

So, I would explain to them, "Okay, so when I say it's time for bed then we're gonna say okay mom and we're gonna run to our bed, I'm gonna come and tuck you in and then you're gonna stay there until I come back in and say it's morning time and then when it's morning time, 

I'll give you a big hug and then we'll have our little treat and then we can play it again, does that sound fun? They're like, "Oh, yeah, that's great." So then we would play this game multiple times and then by the end of the game, by the time the little package of fruit snacks are gone then I would say to them you have mastered going to bed.

So, tonight when it's time for bed and I say it's time for bed and you go to bed and I come to tuck you in, now I know you can stay there until it is morning and in the morning when we wake up in the morning, I will tell you you did such a great job at going to bed that you will earn this package of fruit snacks and you can have it first thing in the morning. 

Whoa, that's exciting! So they're like okay so then they show daddy their cool skill that I know how to go to bed and I get a treat in the morning and you better believe they are gonna remember every morning for that treat and if they did not go to bed the night before, then they don't get the treatment so you have to remember that.

So, you teach them a skill they need how to follow through then they're going to be much more successful but what happens if they wake up in the night? Are you enjoying this article? Is this helpful to you? If so, share it because there are so many parents that are struggling at night time, click share and send it to a friend. 

So, what do you do if they wake up in the middle of the night? There are some key things that you can do to make sure it doesn't take as long. We can't always stop a person from waking up in the night, but there are things that we can teach them and things that we can do that make it so it doesn't disrupt you or them as much.

If the child becomes too disrupted when they wake up in the night, then there chance of falling asleep again decreases, that's when we have a problem. So many parents turn on lights and they you know, "Oh, let's go get this drink and let's go do this and this," and so they start doing too many things, this stimulates the child and then the child's brain can't turn off then parents are stuck.

"Oh no, what do I do? Do I turn on a show and sleep on the couch while they sit there and watch it or and hope they fall asleep, you know, what do I do because sometimes the child has only slept long enough that it's a nap?" So number 1 thing you want to do is make sure that they go to the bathroom before bed, they drink before bed, they go to bed on a full stomach, that's important.

Sometimes we feed our children really early because we eat dinner early and then by the time you know it's like 11 p.m and they've been sleeping for a couple of hours, they're like hungry again so make sure they really eat well before bed, that's important because they're going to stay asleep longer but then when they wake up in the night, we don't want to disrupt them.

If they have to go to the bathroom, fine but you're going to want to get up quickly, that's important. If you hear that they woke up or they're like," Mom," that just get up. Don't be like... because if they have to mom you or dad you too many times, then they just wake up more you may not want to get up but stay silent and just get up yes dear, okay. 

Let's go to the bathroom. Stay silent, don't talk to them, keep the lights dim or off if possible, and then you just go put them right back in their bed. Okay, good night and you go back to your bed, and if they say something says, "Shh, you need to go to sleep now.

This is sleep time it's quiet time and you go back to your bed." If you keep everything quiet and you don't talk to them that much and you get up immediately, they will stay partially asleep which makes sleep easier to come after you handle whatever problem it is. Now, let's say they had a nightmare or something like that, well then you might have to get them calmed down first, that's going to be a little bit more difficult and like I said, I don't think we're going to be going into that in this particular article.

Sometimes when we get woken up in the middle of the night, we immediately get selfish, okay, because our sleep is getting disrupted. Sometimes we're mad that the other parent won't get up and that we have to do it ourselves. Again, selfish, and this selfishness leads to being emotional or short-tempered.

If you get emotional with your child or short-tempered with your child in the middle of the night, guess what that does? It wakes them up more, it stimulates them, it makes them think why are they mad at me, what did I do? I don't like this. 

It stimulates anxiety. If you produce anxiety in your child, they're going to stay awake longer. So, be calm, not emotional. So important. In fact, tell yourself I'm not affected by this. Sleep is just sleep, I can take a little teeny nap in the day later if I have to rest, and being calm and quiet is half of the battle on sleep, right? So, it's okay if I'm not in full REM right now, it's okay, so that's important.

Another thing is you can teach your child the skills that they need to put themselves back to sleep. So, this is important. You can pre-teach that ahead of time. So, you could say, "I've noticed that we seem to have a problem that we keep waking up in the middle of the night. 

So, what can we do to fix that problem for ourselves?" and then you could say, "Well, when we wake up in the night usually we have to go potty so you can go potty and then you can go back to bed but if you still can't sleep, then did you know that you have the power inside your own head to control your thoughts? 

So if you start thinking about something else, maybe you start thinking about you know something you want to do or a toy or someone you want to talk to instead you can say nope, I'm not going to think about that right now. I'm going to think sleep, sleep.

You can tell yourself to repeat a phrase in your brain again and again." That actually is boring enough that it puts a person back into sleep oftentimes especially because children don't have that many pressures weighing on them. When I used to wake up in the middle of the night because I did many times, in fact, many years I would go through this. It was oftentimes because of paranoia.

I was afraid of something, afraid of the dark, afraid of creatures under my bed afraid of you know to fill in the blank and my parents decided that I would not get to sleep with them if I woke up in the night but instead what I would get is I would get to sleep next to them on the floor if I couldn't go back to my bed.

So, I would wake up and I would say, "Dad, I can't sleep," and he'd say then you can sleep right there on the floor and I would bring my blanket and my pillow and I would cuddle up on the floor by his bed and I soon realized that wasn't very comfortable.

I felt safe sometimes at first but then after a while, I realized I didn't really need to be there and so then I stopped that behavior. If you let them into your bed where it's warm and cozy in your space, you won't sleep well and they won't sleep well either.

So, allow them to have the opportunity to possibly sleep next to the bed, that's a good option and it certainly worked for me. I hope you have many more restful nights. I hope they don't wake up but if they do, now there are some things that you can try. In fact, be proactive, teach them about going to bed, that's always going to be the best.

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