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Help! Why won't my child sleep?

Have you ever felt like there isn’t enough coffee to get through the day after being up with a little one throughout the night? Sleep is an essential part of life. Not sleeping well can affect every aspect of our routines. When your little one isn’t sleeping, it also impacts the lives of everyone else in the home. While sleep difficulties are very specific to each child and family situation, there are some ways to look at enhancing your child’s sleep.


Is my child’s sleeping space dark enough?

The level of darkness in the room where your child sleeps can affect their quality of sleep and how long they sleep. When someone asks me how dark the room needs to be, the answer is always “as dark as the child will tolerate”. This works to help tell the body that it is time to sleep, just as the sun going down helps us to know when to sleep. If you child does need a nightlight, red is the optimal color so that it allows the brain to rest instead of keeping your child’s brain stimulated.


Is my child’s sleep space too loud?

The level of sound in the room your child sleeps can keep them awake or wake them in the night without realizing what is happening. Adults can also be woken from their sleep due to a sound they heard or think they heard. As children are falling asleep, and continuing to sleep throughout the night, having a consistent sound, such as a white noise machine, can help mask the sounds of other people in the home or nearby. Please make sure when utilizing a sound machine that the volume is set low. We want to help create a constant and continuous sound while your child is in bed.


Is my child’s sleep space too warm?

The ideal sleeping temperature is 68-72 degrees. If your child is having trouble sleeping, it may be because the sleep temperature in your home may be too warm. If you find that your child is having trouble falling asleep. Keep in mind any blankets/bedding your child uses adds warmth. If your house temperature is usually 68-72 during the day, it may be helpful to try dropping the temperature in your home about 2 degrees before your child’s bedtime routine. This can help you child’s body know that it is time to sleep.


These three areas can do a lot to help set the stage for a good night’s sleep. If you feel this describes your sleep environment but you still feel your child is struggling, please feel free to reach out to discuss you child’s specific sleep needs and situations to find the answers to the struggles you may be having.


Sweet Dreams!


About the Author:

Lindsay Parton is a Developmental Therapist and Certified Sleep Consultant with Marcfirst Pediatric Therapy in Normal, Illinois. She holds two degrees in Early Childhood and has dedicated herself to working with children and their families. Lindsay is passionate about working with children of all backgrounds and ability levels through a lens that encompasses the whole child. Through the combination of being a Developmental Therapist and Certified Sleep Consultant, she is able to help children meet their developmental goals as well as help children and their families get a better night’s sleep. In her personal life, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her friends and family, cooking, and doing puzzles.

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