Is your little one wanting to start their day far too early for your liking?
This week I’d like to share my first had experience with a tip I often give to my clients who are starting on their child sleep plan with their little one. When fostering and promoting great sleep for your child, whether they are an infant, toddler, preschooler or for years beyond, a common thread of great sleep skills is the environment in which the child sleeps.
One area I often touch on in my child sleep workshops and webinars is the fact that we as humans sleep better in complete darkness. In the absence of light, our naps or overnight sleep is more productive and restorative. That being said, a baby or child who is put to sleep in a darkened room is much more likely to fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer.
My own two daughters are great sleepers. Sure, we had our bumps with my oldest daughter after she was first born (read about my experience here), but we overcame her sleepless challenges and nurtured her to become a rock star sleeper. Gold star for us!
HOWEVER…just recently, we have encountered an early morning waking problem due to the fact that in these parts the sun comes up around 5:30 am and although our daughters room has black out curtains and blinds, a small amount of light was shining through around the edges of their windows. This was causing our dear sweet 2.5 year old (Katie) to wake at this far too early of an hour and want to start her day.
This mommy loves does not do a 5:30am wake up!!!
To solve this up with the roosters issue, I employed my own advice! Last Sunday afternoon after Katie’s nap, I took 4 large black trash bags and secured them over their windows with blue painters tape. I must admit that it wasn’t the most attractive job on the inside, but it was obscured from view via the white blinds and blackout drapes already in place. Once the hanging job was done I closed their door and turned out the lights. You know what I was met with? Complete darkness. Mission accomplished.
So that night we put the girls to bed at their normal 7:30pm and reminded them they needed to stay in bed and stay quiet until their clock told them it was time to wake up. Fast forward to the next morning, and although Katie did wake a her usual time, she did put herself back to sleep quite quickly on several occasions and then quietly chatted to herself until she announced that it was time to wake up. And our Lizzy, bless her heart, stayed quietly asleep until that point in the bed next to Katie.
So overall, a great first morning with complete darkness. Of course, to see the full benefit, we will needed to wait several more days to see if Katie’s sleep cycles corrected themselves and she stayed asleep until a more appropriate wake time (6:30am). Well, I am happy to report that over the past 9 days, I have seen a great improvement in the duration of both of my daughters sleep. BOTH are now sleeping to just about their appropriate wake up time and my oldest daughter has actually slept even longer.
And here is an extra added benefit, Katie still takes an afternoon nap and her naps are now longer (almost 3 hours most days).
So SUCCESS! It really was very easy to hang up the trash bags and now I am looking into a more attractive permanent solution to replace the trash bags and painters tape.
I LOVE when I can give first hand experiences with tips and share my successes.
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