Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mom Tips: Summer Sleeping

So, I don't want to brag...but I have GREAT sleepers. Don't get me wrong, the first year is ALWAYS rough, but after that, my kids are just great sleepers. I read post after post from moms who have trouble getting their little ones to nap, sleep through the night, or are even up at the crack of dawn (which is 5am here in AZ!). So that got me thinking...

First of all, for all curious readers, here is just how much my girls sleep: Maddi 7:30pm - 7am (age recommendation is 10-12 hrs); Izzi 8pm-7am and 2-4:30pm nap (age recommendation is 12-14 hrs) and Sophia 8pm - 8am and 1:30-4:30 nap (age recommendation is 13-16 hrs).

As I was putting Sophia down for her nap just now, there were two key things I could think of that help my girls sleep like they do.

1: Consistency. Yep, it sucks. It's annoying...but it works. We don't stick to the above sleep schedule minute for minute (I'm so not a "schedule" mommy). Last night we had a family movie night so Maddi and Izzi went to bed at 9. BUT - we don't change it up every day and keep them on a consistent sleep routine 90% of the time. We also have bible study every Friday night in which the girls don't go to bed until after 10 usually. But because we've built up a consistent sleep pattern in them, it doesn't throw them off to have one day (nap) or night be different and they swing back into their great sleeping behavior.

2: Black Out. If you know me, you know I love black out. I think that this is because I can't sleep with light blaring in my windows. I wake up consistently every day when the sun hits rise - usually around 5:15. No wonder kids do as well - with one exception...I go back to sleep. Also, when I talk black out, I mean black out...not a black out curtain.

The problem with a simple black out curtain is that it still lets light in. This is a HUGE issue when the sun starts rising before 5am. I've noticed that any slight change in the wee morning hours wakes a baby/toddler at the end of their sleep cycle. And for me, I'm just not a 5am kinda girl (who am I kidding, I'm not a 7am kinda girl...).

So, I came up with a wonderful solution. My old "cheap" solution was nixed pretty quickly by the HOA - what I call WT BlackOut - which was aluminum foil on the windows. Ugly - yes. But sun reflective (cooling) and 100% light block was a huge win. Anyway, as I said, HOA sunk that ship. So, my next "cheap" solution has worked wonderfully and the HOA can't say a peep. I used black upholstery vinyl - the window just looks like a room with the light off. I tacked it over the window opening then hung my curtains over it. It works a-mazingly. And at 2pm nap time - we have pitch-black rooms as if it were the dead of night. Plus, I have 5am sleepers!

So that's all the tips I have - not much, huh? But at this point, I haven't really needed anymore :)

I love hearing what other mom have learned! What are your tricks to getting your kids to sleep solidly? Any other solutions to the wee ones learning to sleep through the early summer hours you can share with all us mommies out here??

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