Sleep Tips & Natural Calming Remedies

January 9, 2013
Sleep Tips & Natural Calming Remedies

A lot and I mean A LOT of us have difficulties with our little ones sleeping. Here are some tips, books and also various homeopathic, herbal, and other safe remedies.

Sleep Tips:

Get up at the same time everyday or within a half hour or so. That will set their sleep schedules in their brains. Try to have nap-times at the same time as well. Protect those naps too! Also, don’t be afraid to try taking away a nap or adding one. Growth spurts make them extra tired or they may be getting too much sleep during the day.

  • Generally the younger they are the most sleep they need.
  • Develop a pre-bed routine. Do things in the same order (bath, pj’s, story, nurse, good-night kiss) at the same time each night.
  • Adjust the time that you start the pre-bed routine. Sometimes moving it an hour forward or backward can make all the difference!
  • Avoid caffeinated and sugary foods and drinks in the evening. This includes Juice! Also artificial flavors, colors and preservatives have been known to cause hyperactivity.
  • Nix screen time and active play (that means tickle fights, Dad!) within an hour of bedtime as they’re too stimulating. Also, for some babies bath time can be stimulating.
  • Sometimes a night-light helps or hinders. My daughter recieved a Twilight Turtle for Christmas. It is awesome. It projects stars all over the room in blue, green or light brown. It is pretty and calming and has a timer of 45 minutes. Very helpful for children afraid of the dark, but better than a tiny light in the corner. However this can also be stimulating for some children and those children need pure darkness.
  • Try Music! Some children enjoy listening to quiet music, like classical or ambient music.
  • White Noise — Some children greatly benefit from having white noise either from a machine or a box fan. We use a box fan in my home that blocks out just about anything!
  • We put it up on top of her changing table/dresser so she cannot get to it or the cord.
  • If your child is old enough to not sleep in a crib or pack-n-play anymore, consider taking the mattress out of the crib and putting it on the floor. No longer will they be rolling into the bars/sides interrupting sleep. This worked wonders for my daughter. You can put a babygate in the doorway if you don’t want to close the door all the way too.
  • Understand that some kids need a lot of help reaching that calm state of mind. Nursing, rocking, walking, bouncing, rubbing their back, laying down with them to help them adjust from one state to another does take time, but if it is what your child needs now then that is what they need. They won’t be small forever!
  • Co-sleeping — Some children are just not ready to sleep alone yet. Practice safe bed-sharing or you can put their mattress in your room. Again they won’t be small forever! Safe cosleeping guidelines can be found here.
  • Chiropractic — An adjustment might just be what they need. Birth can be hard on a newborn and older children fall a lot. It can easily cause their spine to be out of alignment and either causing soreness especially if laying a certain way or pinching a nerve. Every chiropractor on our Resource List works with infants and children. Also, they are very affordable, each one takes insurance and most take medicaid. They also offer cash plans!

Books

  • The Fussy Baby Book: Parenting Your High-Need Child From Birth to Age Five by William Sears and Martha Sears
  • Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by James J. McKenna
  • Good Nights: The Happy Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!) by Maria Goodavage and Dr. Jay Gordon
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley and William Sears
  • Sleeping Like a Baby : A Sensitive and Sensible Approach to Solving Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Avi Sadeh
  • Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child’s Sleep by Elizabeth Pantley

Natural Calming Aids

Remember we are not medical professionals. If you aren’t sure please consult one of our many chiropractors, homeopaths or your pediatrician first. Also please make sure your child is old enough to use the methods below. The age requirements should be listed on the products themselves. Thanks!

  • Camilia by Boiron — Liquid chamomile drops.
  • Rescue Remedy by Bach — highly praised calming aid in the form of either drops (make sure you get the kids version because that is alcohol free and they also have pastilles that are chewable.
  • Calms Forte by Hylands — homeopathic tablets similar to the teething tablets
  • Badger Balm Night Night Sleep Balm — great for massages
  • Traditional Medicinals Just For Kids Nighty Night Tea — If your child is old enough and will drink tea, this is great.
  • Gaia Kids Sleep and Relax — A tasty herbal syrup. They also have another product called Calm Restore which are herbal drops.

Katie Hines

Katie Hines was the founder of Omaha Area Natural Parents.She was President from 2010-2015.She is married and has a 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son.

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