My Top Silly Season Sleep Tips – How to keep your sanity (and your sleep) this summer!
December is here, and that means a warmer weather, BBQs, and trips away for a lot of us.
For those of you with little ones, preserving their sleep during this time can be a really difficult thing to achieve – things fall out the window really quick and you can find yourself co-sleeping with drunken octopus baby or toddler while you’re supposed to be on holiday, and getting very little sleep at all.
Early wake ups with the sunshine and difficulty settling in the evening with the heat are super common. Here are my top tips to keep you all getting some better sleep this holiday season, whether you’re at home or away!
Use the light to your advantage!
Knowing when to use sunlight or darkness to help manipulate your child’s biological clock is a great way of looking after their sleep.
As we head into sunnier evenings and mornings, you can see real difficulty settling and morning wakings happening far more frequently than you’d like!
In the sunlight, we produce serotonin, which converts to melatonin (the sleep hormone) in darkness.
This means we can use the sunlight to help us in a number of ways. By exposing your baby or toddler to some evening sunlight after their dinner but before their bed time ritual, we can naturally help them to settle faster in the evening, and sleep later in the morning.
This is one of my favourite tricks for early morning wakings over summer.
But darkness is important too!
Sleeping your baby or child in a super dark environment will help tell their body its sleep time, and help them produce melatonin.
After using your sunshine in the evening ensure their room is as close to pitch black as possible (a dim red night light might be necessary for toddlers over 2), will help them settle faster, and sleep later in the morning.
But the HEEEAAAAT!
We’re the worst aren’t we?
We whinge about the wet and cold in winter but we complain when it’s too hot in summer too – I know I do anyway!
If you don’t have access to a heat pump to keep your babies room cool (aim for 18-20 degrees), a top trick is to use a fan with a frozen drink bottle of water in front of it!
This will help to get some cooler air circulating to help your little one sleep better – just don’t point the fan directly at your wee one, remember our body temp drops when we sleep so we don’t want them to then get chilly!
Try to stick to schedule.
Probably my most boring sounding tip – but maintaining sleep at around the same time every day is really going to help your little one to consistently sleep better.
There’s a reason for the term Monday-itis – people who usually wake up at a set time throughout the week and go to work etc, and then mess this all up on the weekend with evenings out or big sleep ins tend to suffer much more come Monday than those who stuck with their usual wake up and sleep times.
It’s the same for your baby – keeping their rest times at roughly the same time each day helps their bodies get good restorative sleep.
Take their usual sleep things – sleeping bag (make sure its one designed for warm weather), cuddly toys or other sleep cues you usually use to also aid their sleep in unfamiliar environments.
What about when out and about?
If you’re travelling or heading to friends for dinner where your baby will sleep, take a roll of tin foil with you.
Ok I know this sounds weird, but this is a great way to quickly and easily make your baby’s room at your in laws super dark if you don’t want to invest in blackout travel blinds. Simply wipe the window with a damp cloth and the tin foil will stick. This is only a good short-term solution but it really works!
Talk to your neighbors though, so they don’t think you’ve got an illegal drug operation going on!
Something I would really suggest investing in is a Snooze Shade – they’re a blackout cover for your pram, and they do one for a cot too!
If you’re out for naps or going camping with your travel-cot these are an absolute godsend for saving sleep and avoiding those early starts!
If you’ve been busy doing things and you’re starting to see sleep go down hill – get in touch with us and we can help you plan around whatever you’ve got going on to ensure you don’t lose more sleep than you need to this holiday season!
And if you’re really suffering already, we’d love to help ensure you and your little one receive the gift of sleep this Christmas :)