This post is written by Alexandra Coffman from My Baby Sleepology
As if adjusting to working from home while juggling watching your children was not stressful enough… let’s top it off with the now oh-so-common baby & toddler sleep regressions due to these changes. I call this the “Covid Sleep Regression”.
Our children get used to and thrive off routines. Routines bring comfort and consistency to a child’s life and give them confidence and independence! When those routines are disrupted, it can cause a domino effect on both their sleep and behavior.
For children who were used to being placed down for naps by a nanny and meeting other littles at the park; or used to going to daycare and napping around a bunch of their friends, while exerting a ton of energy, they are going through a significant change! The whole family is home… under 1 roof… all day! Not to mention, a lot of families are moving out of cities to stay with family in the burbs during this time. The new environment may further add to the disruption that our previously happily sleeping babies and toddlers may be experiencing!
Here is what a lot of MyBaby Sleepology clients are describing and experiencing due to the Covid changes:
- Bedtime battles
- Nap strikes
- Night wakings
- Early rising
Here are some tips you can employ to help your little ones get back to sleeping more soundly:
- Building strong bedtime routines: Right now this is especially important! If you didn’t have much of a nap routine (5-10 minutes) or bedtime routine (15-20 minutes), create one! Our children need a solid wind-down to help set the stage for them that it is time to go to sleep.
- Be mindful of the timing of the increased screen time: We get it! All mamas may need to leverage screens a bit more right now. Sleep rule: no TV within 45 minutes of nap or bedtime! It is a stimulant and can make it tough for children to fall asleep.
- Be aware of the clock and an overtired child: If you are staying with family it is easy to lose track of time, be cognizant of the timing of bedtime. If your child gets overtired, cortisol (a stress hormone) is secreted in their brain and they go into flight or fight mode. This can cause bedtime battles, night wakings, early rising and/or skipped naps!
- Dealing with nap strikes: If your child is on 2-3 naps, make sure they are in the crib for the first 2 naps for at least 1 hour. Doing this will give them the time & opportunity to adjust to you putting them down (vs. the nanny/daycare) and sleeping in their own crib… or pack n play at grandma’s. If your child is on 1 nap, they should be in the crib for a minimum of 90 minutes.
- If your child’s nap is short or skipped… early to bed!
Any life changing event is a big deal for a little kiddo (and for mama!). Whether it is welcoming a new sibling, moving… or dealing with a global pandemic! Small tweaks can make a huge difference to help your child adjust to the new norm.
As a sleep consultant, my role is to help empower my clients during this time. We discuss where to draw boundaries with toddlers and how to create new routines to help establish healthy expectations around sleep; ultimately leading to healthier, better quality sleep for the entire family!
To book a complimentary 15 min phone consultation with Xan, click HERE