Keep Your Child Sleeping Well With a Consistent Sleeping Place
As a Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I often tell the families who I work with that “consistency is key”. One area where most children could use more consistency is their sleeping place. A child’s consistent sleeping place could be their crib or bed in their room, a bassinet in your room, or a playpen at naptime. Regardless of where they sleep, you need to ensure it is both safe and consistent from day to day.
Here are 3 reasons why a consistent sleeping place will help your child go to sleep easier, stay asleep longer, and get better quality sleep.
1. It Becomes a Positive Sleep Cue
Your child will begin to associate their consistent sleeping place with sleep. As they get used to sleeping there all the time, falling asleep will become easier and require less assistance from you. If you’ve been used to rocking, swinging or driving your child around to help them fall asleep, using a consistent sleeping place like their crib will eliminate the need to provide those sleep props.
2. It Has Consistent Conditions
Having a consistent sleeping place means that you can control the sleeping environment. The more consistent your child’s sleeping environment is, the easier it will be for them to fall asleep and stay asleep longer. It’s best to keep the room as dark as possible, a cool temperature around 20 degrees, quiet, comfortable and of course safe to prevent SIDS. Ensuring all those conditions are present when your child falls asleep in the swing in the kitchen is very difficult!
3. It Makes Going Back to Sleep Easier
Imagine falling asleep on the couch while watching tv, then suddenly waking up in the kitchen. It would be pretty confusing and shocking! The same is for children who may have fallen asleep in your arms but woke up later in their crib. When the child wakes briefly between sleep cycles (as we all do), they do a quick check to make sure everything is as it was when they fell asleep. If things have changed, like where they are sleeping, they will likely wake up fully and call for you. If they are in their consistent sleeping place where they fell asleep, they will likely roll over and go back to sleep peacefully.