Adults get plenty of advice on how to sleep better. They can reduce screen time before bed, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and stick to a sleep schedule. Unfortunately, none of these good habits help if children get restless and wake their parents up. Luckily, there are strategies that will help both parents and children get to sleep and enjoy rest until morning. Here are a few things to try.
1. Give your child the green light to get up with an okay-to-wake device.
One modern solution to children waking too early is an okay-to-wake machine. These devices generally have several different light settings—one for bedtime, one for ambient light while changing diapers in the middle of the night, and one for waking up. The last one signals to the child that the day has started and it’s okay to get out of bed. It’s simple but effective and can help ensure that parents don’t get woken up at all hours of the night. Night Light/Sound Machine/OK-to-Wake Control this all-in-one night light and sound machine combo directly from your smartphone. It features soft light for feeding and diaper changes as well as distinctly colored lights to signal bedtime and okay-to-wake times. Get it on Amazon. OK to Wake! Alarm Clock and Night-Light This adorable alarm clock has hidden controls behind the interchangeable face plates. Light glows soothing yellow at bedtime and shines green when it’s time to wake up. Children can use buttons on the toes to see lights and animations. Get it on Amazon.
2. Drown out annoying noises with an ambient sound machine.
For those who live in cities or apartments, drowning out noise may be the best solution for addressing sleep problems. There are plenty of great options when it comes to ambient noise machines. Wave Baby Premium Soothing Sound Machine The Wave Baby features a minimalist design and easy-to-use buttons. Choose from six soothing sounds: lullaby, heartbeat, white noise, fan, ocean, or rain. The device also has a built in USB port for charging other devices and a shut-off timer to save power. Get it on Amazon. myBaby SoundSpa On-The-Go Sound Machine If your normal sound machine is too big to lug on vacation, we’ve got the perfect solution. This battery-operated travel sound machine has four soothing sounds: heartbeat, white noise, ocean, or lullaby. It clips easily to strollers, cribs, or diaper bags. Get it on Amazon. Whisbear Baby Sound Machine This award-winning product is not your average sound machine. It’s a plush toy that senses when your baby is crying and responds with soothing white noise. Can also be activated by pressing a button and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Get it on Amazon.
3. Use essential oils, like lavender, to invite and improve sleep naturally.
If you want to harness the power of essential oils, we recommend products with lavender. Lavender is strongly associated with relaxation and soothing, which can help children (and adults!) achieve better sleep. Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath Wash Comfort your baby as you moisturize their skin with Aveeno’s trusted oat-based formula. This product is clinically proven to calm fussy babies when combined with a warm bath. Get it on Amazon. Organic Lavender Oil This combo of organic lavender and coconut oils soothes children after bath time. Simply apply to feet, shoulders, chest, wrists, and legs for a peaceful and sweet-smelling night’s sleep. Contains no chemicals, parabens, or toxins. Get it on Amazon.
4. Put your little ones to sleep with an old-fashioned bedtime story.
This method is tried-and-true and helps form a strong bond between parents and children. We recommend books specifically about bedtime, which tend to slowly lull children to sleep. “Llama Llama Red Pajama” This adored bedtime story recounts the nightly ritual of a nervous llama and his dedicated mama. Great for reassuring kids that their parents are nearby and looking out for them even at night. Get it on Amazon. “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” This imaginative piece is a great way to help children wind down at night. As the construction equipment prepares for bed and lies down, your child will happily drift off to sleep, too. Get it on Amazon. “Goodnight Moon” This classic has been a favorite of children and parents for over 50 years, thanks largely to its hypnotic rhymes. Goodnight Moon is great for kiddos learning how to read and even better for getting little ones to sleep. Get it on Amazon.
5. Use a lovey so your baby has a friend while they’re nodding off to sleep.
A favorite stuffed animal or blankie can keep your little one company while they fall asleep. There are ton of soft and adorable options that your children will fall in love with. Taggies Sherbet Lamb Lovey Toy This ultra-soft, adorable lamb will become your child’s best friend and keep them company as they fall asleep. The variety of tags can soothe babies as they explore the tactile sensations. Get it on Amazon. Angel Dear A Pair and a Spare This 3-piece blanket set allows parents to wash grubby blankies without triggering a tantrum. The 100-percent microfiber material is incredibly soft and machine-washable. The cute monkey design will be adored by babies and parents alike. Get it on Amazon.