It’s hard to believe it’s that time again already…summer! My kids just completed first and third grades, and this year has definitely gone the fastest! Now that school’s out, my time is full of camp drop-offs and pick-ups. And later in the summer, I’ll be on the East Coast taking kids to sleep-away camp and visiting family.
Memorial Day is upon us here in the US, bringing with it the un-official start of summer, warmer weather, and the rapidly approaching end of the school year. During the summer, both Debbie and I have our hands full! Debbie heads to Camp Akeela, where she and her husband (and their two kids) create amazing experiences for a unique group of campers. I will be spending the summer with my family, our kids are now ages 6 and 8, tackling several home-improvement projects, and traveling to the East Coast for a significant part of the summer.
We know that your sleep challenges don’t just take a vacation because it’s summer, and we want to continue to provide you with sisterly support. I have limited spots available for 30-minute and 60- minute phone consultations over the summer. We hope you will be able to find a convenient time through our online booking form, but if you don’t see something that works for you, please email us and we will do our best to accommodate you.
This Sunday in most of the U.S., we will be turning our clocks forward one hour. The Spring time change tends to less disruptive than the one in the Fall. At this time change, it’s easiest for most of us to do nothing in preparation – just change the clocks on Sunday am – perhaps because it’s easier to wake someone (thank you, alarm clock) than force him to stay asleep. If that approach doesn’t appeal to you, you can start moving everything in your child’s routine earlier by 10-15 mins each day now to gradually adapt to the one-hour time change.
We all want a change of scenery now and then, especially during the summer months. But if you have a baby or young child, you may wonder if that beachfront vacation is going to be worth it when your kid can’t sleep!
Changes to routine and environment can derail even the best sleepers. Here are a few of our favorite hacks for keeping your kids sleeping well when you travel.
Your baby isn’t born knowing how to sleep through the night. Sleeping through the night is an acquired skill, one we need to teach our children, once they are old enough (4-6 months or more). What exactly is sleep teaching? Our recent blog outlines the basics. The most important factor in sleep teaching is consistency. There are many methods you could use, but the key is to find the one that you can use consistently.
My daughter’s school has a cute tradition. At the end of the school year, all the kindergarteners have a sleepover at the school with just the teachers (no parents!). This is the first time for many of them to be sleeping away from their own beds and their parents. Our teachers are very brave (or very crazy!).
The kids really look forward to it all year. But as a parent, I was a little worried. Some parents worried about leaving their kids for the first time, or getting the dreaded midnight call to come pick up their home-sick child, but I was worried about my daughter not getting enough sleep. Would she stay up all night chitchatting with friends? Would the environment be too stimulating for sleep? Would being out of her routine mess everything up?
When I mention sleep training to parents, their first reaction is typically to cringe. We’ve all heard the stories: days of enduring hours-upon-hours of screaming followed by perfect sleep, or the ones about the parents who still haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep after more than a year, and even the tales of those seemingly mythical children who have no sleep troubles at all and just start sleeping through the night without fuss at a few months old. “What will our fate be?” new parents wonder. “And if we aren’t the lucky parents of a ‘unicorn’ and have to actively do something about sleep, how awful will it be? Should we even bother or can we adjust to life without sleep?”
My daughter, Zoe, is in kindergarten – such a big girl now! Recently, her teacher pulled me aside and said that a significant number of kids come to school tired. By the time our kids are school-age, I thought we’d be through with sleep troubles. Haven’t we been practicing and teaching good sleep hygiene all this time? Shouldn’t our kindergarteners be able to tell us when they are tired and need more sleep? No! They don’t. Whether it’s more time on the playground, or a dinner with the family, or the rest of that movie with their older siblings, they don’t want to miss anything. So it’s our job as parents to make sure they are getting enough sleep. The kindergarten teachers at Zoe’s school asked me to share a few sleep tips for kids this age, so here they are!
Traveling anywhere with young children is a challenge. Add crossing time zones into the mix, and many parents feel like they are entering the danger zone. Adults often feel the effects of jet lag when changing as few as two or three zones, so imagine how kids feel! No wonder we get so many panicked questions from parents asking for guidance to help their kids sleep well and adjust to time zone changes.
Summer is a great time for kids – playing outside, no coats, swimming! But summer challenges ranging from high temperatures to daylight savings time can also pose problems for sleep. Here are a few tips to help keep your kids sleeping well during the summer months: