Sleep is gold — for parents and kids alike. When everyone in the family gets a good night’s sleep, it makes busy schedules and long hours at home together more manageable. But for all the talk about babies sleeping through the night, it can be a bit of a surprise when toddlers and young kids are the ones having a hard time falling asleep at night, or sleeping past six in the morning.
Over the course of the past few years, we’ve tried every trick in the book to keep our two early risers in bed just a little while longer and get them to sleep in the first place. Here are a few tricks that we have learned along the way.
- Make sure rooms are used for sleep, rather than for play. Creating a restful sleep environment is essential to help young kids understand what their room is for.
- Create a calming bedtime routine — and stick to it. We make sure to protect bedtime schedules, even if it means we leave gatherings and activities early.
- Keep an eye on room temperatures. For babies, toddlers and small children, the National Sleep Foundation recommends a room temperature of between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition to those tips, here are 10 best-selling products designed to help kids get a better night's sleep.
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1. A sleep alarm clock
Kids can have a hard time figuring out when it’s time to get out of bed in the morning, especially when it stays dark later during the winter months. A sleep alarm clock gives them the cue to stay in bed and helps them develop a good sleep routine.
2. A weighted blanket
A weighted blanket can help an active child calm down before bedtime, and can even help soothe them if they wake up during the night. Weighted blankets come in cute patterns for kids and can be a great tool to help your kid relax at night.
3. A cute night light
Some young kids find it hard to go to sleep at night because they are afraid of the dark. A cute night light should help to calm those fears as they fall asleep and help them get back to sleep if they wake in the night.
Try: Kitty night light
4. A white noise machine
Neighborhood dogs, birds that start chirping at 4 a.m., random noises from the neighbors late at night? Whatever the reason, a white noise machine can help muffle those noises and keep your kid asleep longer.
5. A special pillow
A special or cozy pillow can offer just the comfort a kid needs to go to bed and to stay in bed a little bit longer. Pick the right one and it can be the best sleep soother ever.
6. Cozy socks
Cold feet can make it hard to go to sleep. For those cold winter nights, try some cozy socks to help the kids fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night long.
7. Blackout blinds
It may be winter, but blackout blinds or curtains can set the stage for a peaceful night of sleep for your kids. They are also essential in summer to keep out the light.
8. Sleep spray
Lavender is known to have a calming effect, which could certainly help your kid sleep better. Plus, you can absolutely bill this lavender sleep spray as a magic potion that will help your child slumber peacefully.
Try: Lavender sleep spray
9. A compression sheet
As an alternative to a weighted blanket, a compression sheet can help blankets stay put with kids underneath. A compression sheet will also give your kid an edge in the bed-making department!
10. A humidifier and diffuser
Many kids, my own included, find sleeping with a humidifier running during the winter months can help ease congestion and make sleep easier. This humidifier also functions as an adorable night light and an essential oils diffuser.
Read more from the author Malia Jacobson in her book "Ready, Set, Sleep" — now available on Amazon.