Bedtime sillies are real! Getting your Rascals to ease into bed every single time can be a challenge. We chatted with Michelle who is a Pediatric Sleep Coach and asked some questions about how to create the perfect bedtime experience.
Here's what she had to say about when it comes to rascals and bedtime!
What is a “Sleep Coach?”
A Pediatric Sleep Coach is a professional who will help guide, support and educate your family through the hardships you may face in parenthood. As a Pediatric Sleep Coach, I work closely with families to discuss their goals in terms of their child’s sleep and help them achieve their goals and learn new strategies along the way.
What are the most common concerns your clients (or parents?) encounter/have?
The most common concerns parents come to me with are;
- Night wake ups
- Short naps
- Early morning wake ups!
- Scheduling troubles
What is the IDEAL bedtime routine?
The first step to creating a perfect bedtime routine for your child is to know your child! Some children do well with baths before bed, while others can become too overstimulated by baths. The number 1 recommendation when it comes to routines is to only create one you can absolutely keep consistent every single night.
Bedtime routines should be approximately 10-20 minutes long, depending on age.
Example of routine for 0-3 months
- Sponge bath
- Swaddle/Sleep Sack
- White Noise On
Example of routine for 4 months and up (without bath)
- Wash hands and face
- Brush teeth
- Diaper change/Potty
- Sofia Snooze/Dharma Dreamz
- White noise
How do you manage your own children’s bedtime?
I am the mom of two boys, ages 6 and 2 and stagger our bedtime routines.
Our 2-year-old goes to bed first, so his routine is done first!
- First, we start by washing our hands and face
- We move onto brushing (He mostly eats the toothpaste while I brush, but we’re working on that!)
- Into a clean diaper and snuggly Pjs, which I spray with Dharma Dreamz prior
- Up to his bedroom where we read 2-3 books (We swap these out every 2-3 nights and I only keep those books in sight so we can avoid meltdowns!)
- After his books are read, he returns them to his shelf, and we have a little snuggle in his chair or on the floor where we sing his favourite song.
- Into bed with his blankie and night night!
Our 6-year old’s routine is much shorter, which is very normal as your child grows!
- Bedtime snack while I am putting baby brother to bed
- Down time/Relaxing
- Teeth brushed, vitamins and uses washroom
- Washes hands
- Says goodnight to Dad/Mom (depending who puts him to bed)
- Up to his room, where we read a chapter out of a book and he then gets to listen to one song while falling asleep (very quietly)
If everything goes sideways and your rascal straight up refuses to go sleep, what are your best advice?
If you find this happening, my first piece of advice is to breathe. Do not be afraid to put your child somewhere safe and walk away to take a breath and regroup. Ask your partner to take over if that is an option.
Many times, when I run into this issue as a Pediatric Sleep Coach, it is during naps when a parent is trying to work on independent sleep. Unfortunately, you cannot force a child to sleep, the best you can do is set the foundation for them and provide the correct schedule and sleep environment. If your child will not sleep, allow them to have a break and try again when you’ve both had time to calm down.
What are some of your favourite bedtime books, songs, games that may make pillow time easier. Bedtime is going to be different in every home; because every family dynamic is different! Books that do not contain too many exciting details are a great option, ones that discuss going to bed are a great option for older children. Finding a book that fits your child’s interest is another great way to ensure your little one will pay attention during the story!
Choosing calming songs can be a great option for some children, while it may get other’s too excited and worked up to be done prior to sleep times. Finding a song that calms your child will be best!
Do you have ideas or recommendations for literature and resources on getting your Rascal to sleep?
Stay off Google and Mom groups! While Mom groups are a great support system especially in these COVID times, I see misinformation far too often which times can often cause more problems. While all the advice from outside peers is well-meaning, it is best to stick with professionals when it comes to sleep advice.
A great place to start is by searching Sleep Coach’s on Facebook, Instagram or Blogs. By staying within Pediatric Sleep Coach’s blogs, you can be assured that you are taking information from professional’s who help families in the same position as yours every single day! Many Pediatric Sleep Coach’s also offer free 15-minute consultation calls to see if they can assist you in other ways!
What are your top 5 tips for parents to take away today?
- Consistency is key in all things sleep related
- A bad day/night doesn’t necessarily mean your child needs a schedule change
- Keeping your child awake longer does not make them sleep better
- A proper sleep environment helps more than most realize
- Learn about your child’s wake time windows
Here's what Michelle had to say when it comes to using Rascal Remedies at bedtime!
Rascal Remedies is a great product to use in combination with your child’s bedtime routines. I am a firm believer that no single product will help your child sleep perfectly, but Rascal Remedies creates a pleasant and calm environment to help your child unwind after a busy day of baby/toddler business!
Thank you so much Michelle for taking the time to share your expertise! For readers, you can find our Sleep support Rascals on our online shop! Learn more about Dharma Dreamz | Dream Mist and Sofia Snooze | Pillow Time Roll-On Remedy.
Michelle is a Pediatric Sleep Coach who offers support worldwide. If you and your Rascals could use a little help in your bedtime routines, connect with her on Instagram or visit her website for more information.