Being a parent of young kids usually comes with having a house-full of accessories. In pioneer days, babies would have had a cradle and maybe a rattle if they were really lucky. These days, a newborn comes home from the hospital to a crib, a playpen, a swing, a high chair, talking mobiles, stuffed animals that sing and dance… the list goes on.
There are so many fun products on the market that can entertain our kids, interact with them and make them laugh.
Which is exactly why they shouldn’t be kept in the bedroom when the children are trying to fall asleep.
Many things can interfere with baby’s ability to sleep train, and distractions are a big factor. Here are the top three things you might find in a child’s bedroom that could be preventing him from getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Mobiles, aquariums and singing/musical toys
There are countless products on the market that claim to have the ability to lull your baby off to dreamland using lights, songs and movement: Mobiles that drift above their heads, toy aquariums with illuminated plastic fish, stuffed bears that sing “Rockabye Baby…”
The problem is twofold: first, these toys are often far more distracting than they are relaxing. If a baby is staring out into a dark room, there is nothing for her to be stimulated by or curious of. If there is a machine strapped to her crib sending out shimmering rainbows to look at, this will keep the baby wide awake, as will any toys that make noise.
The other problem is that if you find something that does work, it might become a crutch. A toy that has to be wound to sing a song, for instance, will have to be wound or restarted every time your baby wakes up, which is no different than you having to pick your child up to walk her or rock her back to sleep.
2. Night lights
If a baby is trained to sleep in utter darkness, that will be normal to him, and he will not be scared by it. If he’s used to sleeping in a room with a nightlight, he will be dependent on that night light being on before he can feel safe. Night lights, while dim, still produce enough of a glow to be distracting to a child who is trying to fall asleep.
This is a big one. Some adults have the bad habit of falling asleep on the couch while the TV is on, and some claim they actually need the white noise from the TV to drift off. For a baby, the TV is loud and full of stimulating movement and light. Any electronics in the room that have blinking lights when they’re turned off should be unplugged so they don’t keep baby awake.
For sleep training to be most effective, start by creating a quiet, simple environment that is conducive to rest and everything else will be much easier for you and your child.
Is this information useful to you and your family? I would love to hear your feedback regarding your sleep routine.