Be a role model

Be a role model

Sleep is just as important as healthy eating and regular exercise. Demonstrating healthy habits in the presence of children will result in those children adopting those same habits. For example, if a parent wishes for their child to sit quietly and enjoy reading a book before bed, then the parent should sit with their child and read quietly together. Children mimic the actions of their parents, so establishing healthy routines for yourselves will result in healthy habits for your children too.

One-on-one time

One-on-one time

When children are newborns, infants and toddlers, they receive an elevated amount of undivided attention from their parents, but as they grow older and more self-sufficient, that focused time naturally decreases. Regardless of age, it is important to spend at least 20 minutes of one-on-one time per day with a child. Child-led play, where parents allow the child to make the decisions as to how that time is used, will result in diminished bedtime stall tactics and fewer overnight wakings, because the child’s emotional needs are being met by their parents.

 

Join Kari and Alison at the Baby & Family Fair on Saturday, November 21 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East, where they will be hosting a talk on "Healthy sleep for your children starts with you: How parenting affects sleep."

Healthy sleep for your children starts with you

Healthy sleep for your children starts with you

Establishing a consistent and effective sleep routine for children is vital to the health and well-being of both the children and parents involved. Not only does the amount of sleep a child receives affect their behavioural patterns, but a poor sleep habits can also affect other facets of a child’s health, including brain development, weight, and emotional stability. Unfortunately, proper sleep habits don’t occur naturally for most children—they must be taught how to sleep, just as they are taught how to dress themselves. Healthy sleep patterns begin with the parents.

Certified Sleep Specialists and co-founders of The Sleeping Child, Kari Wright (pictured above left) and Alison Ruks (pictured above right), work with families to provide effective sleep solutions and support around the world. They believe that there are four primary parental behaviour and habit modifications that will equip sleepless parents with the foundation they need to establish a restful and happy home for their family.

Click through for four expert tips on how to make sure your entire family gets a good night's sleep.

Have a plan

Have a plan

When it comes to teaching children how to sleep effectively, it is important for parents to develop long-term, proactive behaviours around sleep. Reactive, temporary fixes for tired children will not work. Consistent and predictable sleep schedules will create routine, allowing children to anticipate when and for how long the sleep will occur, and children thrive when following established routines.

It’s not about you

It’s not about you

A child’s needs will not conform to the needs and habits of their parents. While a parent may enjoy late nights, and busy schedules, children will not naturally and willingly comply with the lifestyle that their parents have adopted. In order to establish healthy and consistent sleep routines, parents will need to put their child’s needs first, ensuring to the best of their ability that the child naps and settles into bed for the night at consistent times.

Kari Wright, B.A., B.Ed., and Alison Ruks, B.M., C.H., are Certified Child Sleep Specialists and co-founders of The Sleeping Child who provide sleep solutions and support to families around the world. They are mothers who have faced the challenges of child sleep issues, have over 30 years of combined family health and education experience, and are passionate about helping you develop positive family experiences. Find out more at on their website or visit their Facebook page to learn more and book a free 15-minute sleep consultation.

Kari and Alison do not believe in a ‘one size fits all’ sleep training approach, and customize their sleep plans to accommodate the unique parenting philosophies of each family with which they work. To learn more about The Sleeping Child and their sleep tips and tricks for children, join them at the Baby & Family Fair on Saturday, November 21 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East, where they will be hosting a talk on "Healthy sleep for your children starts with you: How parenting affects sleep."