How do I get my child to sleep in? This question is probably on the minds of EVERY parent the minute they hear their child in the baby monitor at 5 am, or when their older child is an early bird and wants breakfast at 6 am. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of helpful tools that we use when it comes to getting our kids to sleep in longer.
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Why don’t kids, especially toddlers, sleep in?
It’s pretty normal for a young child to wake up early, or even a few times during the night.
Babies and toddlers especially can be going through ALL kinds of things they can’t voice. Teething, upset stomach, getting sick, hungry, etc. But did you know, it’s also biologically genetic?
If you’re more of a morning person, it might so happen that your child is more predisposed to having the same habits. But that doesn’t mean those habits can’t be broken.
I am more of an early bird, while my husband could sleep a full 72 hours and not have a problem with it. Our kids are more like me.
So depending on the parent, and the parent’s habits they’ve acquired in the home, that can definitely influence whether your child sleeps in or not.
Other factors as to why your child isn’t sleeping in might also be due to environmental factors such as the garbage truck, super loud and obnoxious Magpie’s squawking on the tree outside their window, or street traffic.
Every parent knows, sleep becomes worth more than gold when you haven’t had much.
When my husband and I would get our newborn to sleep through the night back in the day, we would analyze, collect data, and pretty much set up an entire science lab in efforts to repeat it the next night.
There were times I would have paid thousands of dollars for a few solid night’s sleep. In fact, right now, I’m gnawing on an old hamburger pattie that was leftover in the fridge because I’m too lazy to make myself something. Why? Because I didn’t sleep last night.
Thankfully, I no longer miss out on sleep because my kids are up. I miss out on sleep because after I turned 30 and had my second baby, everything went downhill, including being able to go through the night without having to go to the bathroom.
I also have a very busy mind, and when my head hits the pillow at night, I find that my brain is actually able to have thorough thoughts without interruption.
Why it’s better for the whole family when kids sleep in
My desire to get my kids to sleep in a little isn’t necessarily because I want some more shuteye. I mean, I guess some days I’ll give in a little. But for me, it’s more so I can get up early, have breakfast, do my morning routine with fitness and reading, and prepare for the day.
I find that when I do this, I am a MUCH happier wife, mom, and everything everyone needs me to be.
And the only way this can happen is if my kids sleep in a little longer than 7 am!
For you, getting your kids to sleep in might be for other reasons.
Let’s say you just want more sleep. Or maybe you need to get up and work a little since recent world events have altered a working from home mama’s daily routine.
Maybe it’s because your kids are SO much happier when they sleep more. I know for my boys, this is certainly the case.
Whatever the reason, this is what I’ve done to get my kids to have a little more shuteye, so I can either be more productive or get some work done in the morning.
How to Get Your Child to Sleep in – 7 Strategies for Even Long After the Sun Comes Up!
1. Use THESE amazing products
Magnesium for kids (Magnesium deficiency is very common and can play a role in restlessness)
I kid you not, when both our kids where little, we made sure we implemented these things, and our kids have always been good sleepers.
2. Make sure you use these tips for getting them to sleep at night
Not only will these 5 tips help your child get to sleep peacefully, but it will also help them sleep in longer.
Studies show that kids who are outside more, have had less screen time and more exercise, are more likely to sleep better and sleep in LONGER.
3. Go down earlier for naps and keep them short
If your child is still at an age where they need to nap, make sure you try and put them down before 1 pm, and sleep no longer than 3:30.
I know for my toddler if he goes down too late, he struggles to go to bed that night. I also find that if he goes down later, he’s more tired, which causes him to have a SUPER long nap.
The longer a child sleeps during the day, the less he sleeps at night.
4. Keep a strict schedule
If your child goes to bed at 7 pm one night, then to bed at 10 pm the next, there will be no sense of routine, and this could lead to them waking up at different times.
I find that if I put my child to bed at the same time every night, he keeps a healthy sleep cycle. I know that with older kids, and also during the summer, this is harder. That’s where the blackout curtains come in handy.
Some kids, as they get older, should be able to stay up a little later. But I know for us, if we don’t get our adult time after the kids go to bed, we don’t get any time alone together.
This is one of the key aspects of having a healthy marriage–to spend quality and uninterrupted time with one another.
If your marriage is on track, your parenting is on track.
So, in the end, having your kids go to bed earlier ends up coming around full circle and helping your family function more healthily.
One thing you can do for older kids is put a clock in their room, and tell them they can only come out at a certain time. Allow them to play in their room or read until 8 am or whatever time you have set for them.
5. Keep them healthy
Make sure your child is getting a highly nutritious diet that includes these important vitamins and minerals for better sleep:
- Vitamin D. The ‘sunshine vitamin’ is thought to influence both sleep quality and quantity, and studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with less sleep overall and also with more disrupted rest.
- Vitamin E
- B vitamins
While I believe kids with a healthy diet get many of these necessary vitamins in their food, it never hurts to make sure with a multivitamin.
My kids take these multivitamins every morning. What’s great is, they look forward to taking their vitamins because they taste like fruit snacks, but better!
6. Teach them how to self soothe if they wake up early.
I know this is a highly debated subject. Should I let my kid cry it out? Should I try the so and so technique?
There is a wide variety of advice when it comes to helping your child get to sleep themselves, while also get themselves back to sleep if they wake up at any point during the night or early morning.
I can only speak from personal experience when I say this: As no child or family is the same, you figure out what works best for you.
I know for our family, we decided not to co-sleep with our kids. We didn’t feel it would benefit our marriage or our sleep quality. I have a hard time sleeping as is, and this didn’t seem conducive to that, no matter how tempting it was to want to keep my little sweetheart in bed with me.
But everyone is different! I’ve heard some swear by co-sleeping with their kids and claim that it helps them sleep even better.
Whatever you decided, the important factor is making sure your child knows how to self soothe.
If they don’t learn how to do this young, it could be they will always struggle with getting to sleep. Having those good habits instilled early on will help them in the long run.
Fortunately, with both our kids, we never struggled to get them to sleep through the night or soothe themselves to sleep. I am honestly still trying to figure out how we did that, and when I do, I’ll probably write a post about it.
But for now, I’m just going to say this. Every child is different, so HOW you get them to self soothe and sleep through the night will always be different. But I do believe it’s important to teach them these good habits, and the younger, the better.
Training a baby to sleep through the night is MUCH easier than training a toddler.
7. Limit this and have enough of that
Limiting fluid intake after dinner can help children sleep longer as they won’t need to get up to use the bathroom. In younger kids still in diapers, it can keep their diaper less full, which has often played a role in our toddler waking up early.
Also, make sure they get enough to eat at dinner. I don’t oppose a nighttime snack, but nothing too heavy. This can affect their sleep quality and make them restless.
In essence, think of all the things you need to do to sleep in and apply that to your kids!
I hope these tips will get your kids sleeping in so you can to OR leave you with a little more time in the morning to be productive!
What do you do to help your kids sleep in longer? I’de love to hear in the comments below!
Positive parenting tools for every parent
Screen Time Protection and Teaching Moderation
I’ve recently partnered with Bark, a software to supervise, manage, and protect your child’s device use on the go. Use the code WORDBIRD at checkout to get an additional 1-month free trial after your first initial 7 day trial!
Screen Time Checklist Printable for Kids – FREE if you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Just fill out your info below.
Book List for Kids and Parents
Check out my recommended books for parenting.
Book list to teach kids about racial diversity.
Journaling for Kids
When a child is old enough to start drawing, coloring, or writing, journaling is an incredible way to help your kids better express themselves in a free and comfortable way. Check out our Kid’s Printable Journals — created specifically to help children better express their feelings, encourage gratitude, and spark the imagination.
Chores for Kids
Magnetized Chalk Chart for Fridge
Implementing chores and structure in your child’s daily life is a VERY helpful tool to teach them follow through, discipline, and respect. We use this chore chart in our family to help our kids keep track of their own progress, and keep you from having to constantly remind them of their daily tasks.
If you’re looking for something a bit more simple, this is also a good option.
Chore Chart Printable – Get it NOW from the convenience of your own printer
If you’re looking for something you can print out immediately and start implementing chores in your home today, check out this CHORE CHART PRINTABLE. With a Mandalorian theme, it makes for a lighthearted and fun way to encourage kids to do their daily and weekly “missions.”
Emotional Connectivity with Your Kids
Connecting on a deeper level emotionally with your child is CRUCIAL, and sometimes more difficult. We play THIS GAME often in our family to create a safe space for our kids to feel free to share their questions and emotions, all without judgment.
We even offer an “Exemption Time” for the duration of this game, where anything he tells us is off the table for consequences.
Check out these other posts on emotional connectivity on the blog!
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