Good Sleep Habits

Ah…sleep, the thing that every living being has to do; except maybe jellyfish and sea stars…do worms sleep???


Anyway, before we go off down a rabbit hole of googling random animals sleeping habits; let’s focus on our own species shall we?


Sleep changes throughout our life and when our children are young, it can be difficult for both our littles and us to find a good rhythm and routine; especially for new parents.  New parents go from sleeping whenever they want to and however long they want to, to surviving off of the little scraps of sleep their children allow, feeling like Oliver Twist: “Please sir can I have some more?”. And you might think that this gets better with age, that eventually everyone finds what works for them and everyone gets the sleep that they need.


Wishful thinking; not that it gets worse, but new challenges arise with every age.


See, the thing is, is that once parents feel that they have a good handle on their children and their own sleep habits, something comes along and disrupts it and everything goes down the drain. Some of the insidious intrusions that can disrupt your sweet, sweet beauty rest are:


-Night mares

-Bed wetting

-Your child is lonely

-Someone sneezed too loudly and woke the baby up

-In the house down the block your neighbor John just mentioned to his wife about going out and getting a haircut

-A butterfly flapped it’s wings the wrong way

I’m only sort of exaggerating, because really, your children’s sleep habits are a fickle beast. They can be disrupted by any number of things, some of which you may know, but sometimes kids just get out of their groove and need help to back into their rhythm.


So, what can we do?


For our kids many issues can plague them and prevent them from getting a good night’s rest, sleep regression and teething being two of the most common; but here are some tips for you to help, regardless of the reason your little one can’t seem to get to/back to sleep:

-Continue to keep, or start a consistent schedule; getting ready for bed around the same time, having the same things happen at the same time, whatever that is for you and your family

-Feeding baby, taking a bath, reading a book, playing quiet music, etc. Just as long as it remains constant, so baby starts to understand what to expect

-Keep baby’s room a quiet, relaxed oasis for them. Make their room a sanctuary for sleep; try not to utilize their room for playtime, this way they associate their room with sleep rather than the later.

-Use black out curtains. This is especially helpful in the summer months.

-Play some quiet music/white noise

-Don’t change your baby unless it’s absolutely necessary to avoid waking them up

-Avoid overly engaging with your baby; don’t look them in the eyes, don’t tickle them, try to keep your voice even and low


With all of this being said, there’s bound to be hiccups and some very, very late nights that even a gallon of coffee could not fix. Just know that everything, even the negative events, eventually pass even if in the moment it doesn’t feel like it. As parents, we learn to be flexible out of necessity, because our needs take a back seat to our kids’ needs. So, be prepared to have the best night of sleep of your life one night then the next having a combined total of 2 hours of sleep–This is your new normal and that’s okay, you will get through it!


If you ever feel your child is not getting an adequate amount of sleep even if it seems you’ve tried everything under the sun, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. Other issues that may be a good idea to bring up to your pediatrician: loud snoring or pauses in their breathing when they’re sleeping.


For more information about healthy sleep habits please visit:

Nationwide Children’s

Sleep Foundation

Healthy Children

Child Mind Institute