Keeping it clean
As weird as this may seem, keeping the room clean is the best way to achieve the best sleep for your child. This subconsciously allows your body and brain to relax quicker and stay asleep longer. Here, I’ll explain a bit more.
Allergens & sleep
As many adults know, there are allergens in the air, inside your house, or vehicle and most anywhere else you can think of. While some people are more allergic to things such as dust, some others may not even realize they have any reactions when in fact they are.
Many people suffer the loss of sleep due to allergens on their blankets, pillows, and other bedding without realizing it. With that being said, dirt and dust mites like to make their selves at home on your furniture, mattresses, blankets, pillows and other such things.
It’s on a sub-conscious level, but your child will sleep much better on freshly washed bedding than a bed that hasn’t been changed in a week or more. Try and keep a routine with changing or cleaning the bedding frequently whether it be weekly or bi-weekly. This includes pillows and the mattress itself.
Some vacuums now offer a deep cleaning option or attachment for mattresses and furniture. So, if you have the capabilities to deep clean your mattress, please do.
While it may not be an allergen per se, paint fumes are obviously bad for children. Find out how to safely paint a crib if your baby’s sleep chamber needs a facelift.
Keep that mattress protected
Another huge thing to invest in to keep a clean mattress is a mattress protector. It will reduce the cleaning you need to do while keeping that mattress free of accidents, dust, bacteria and many other things. It’s an investment to keep your mattress from being damaged too.
Don’t forget about that heavy duty comforter that doesn’t fit in a normal sized washer/dryer. You will have to make a trip to the Laundromat to wash it.
Those little dirt bunnies will stay put until they have to leave. Also, who doesn’t like crawling into that fresh bedding? It always feels so great and I personally sleep better, so why wouldn’t your child too?
Click here for this premium mattress for toddlers on Amazon.
Add some mood lighting
If your kids are anything like mine, they hate being in a pitch black room. Even if you leave the door wide open with the light on in the hallway, they despise it.
That being said, you should try and get a night light that doesn’t illuminate too brightly. People are converting a lot of things to LED, but that can almost trigger someone to stay awake. It’s little things like this that get overlooked and kids are wide-eyed and bushy tailed in bed at midnight.
There are all sorts of different night lights for children on the market right now.
A white noise sound machine with 428 different colors from pastel grey to fluorescent green to a pillow that lights up in multiple colors. I don’t think I could fall asleep with a light up pillow. So, keep it simple. A regular old fashion night light will suffice.
Check out this starry sky night light online by clicking here.
Evict the electronics
How about those electronic tablets, televisions, cell phones to watch movies? As much as you think this will calm them down to get ready for bed, it’s actually stimulating their brain. The constant movement on the screens triggers an almost endorphin response. Also, your child may be learning new things watching which are stimulating multiple different things in their little bodies.
Tidy up the toys
So what about the toys and miscellaneous other items strewn around the room? Even as a child, clutter, and disarray can cause unknown anxiety. If you keep the room organized daily, that stressor is gone. Like I said, your child isn’t going to know that mess is bothering them, and more than likely you won’t either, but it is.
I would have your child help clean up. Make it a normal routine daily and they know what to expect. I know, I know…it’s easier said than done, but that accomplishment will allow them to feel like they did something commendable, like hiking Mount Everest. Make sure to give praise to your child even if they crawl over pretending to be a puppy and pick the thing up with their mouth. They are helping. The praise and respect a child gets for an accomplishment can help relax and ease them into that slumber you want.
Click here to view the latest pricing for this multi bin toy organizer.
Make scents make sense
Have you ever walked into a department store and are attacked by the smell of someone’s overpowering scent? Whether it be their own odor or an abundance of perfume/cologne, it can be very distracting while giving you the urge to get away. The same thing goes for a child’s room.
When cleaning, use pleasant scents. If you clean with bleach, make sure you have ample time to air out the room and then add a nice freshener or scent afterward. I love bleach and use it for cleaning frequently. However, after using bleach my house emits the smell for hours.
I make sure to clean early in the day and open the windows afterward. When you decide on a scent for the room, keep in mind some smells are made for comfort, relaxation and calming. I prefer to use lavender for the kids as it always seems to calm them. Even if it’s a fluke for the smells, I will take it.
You can click here for details of this relaxing lavender spray for kids and adult.
So you now the room smells heavenly of lavender with a freshly washed bed. The room is clean and organized and you provided a soft ambient glow of a simple night light, but your child still won’t fall asleep. What can you do?
Warm it up
With sticking along the lines of a clean room, throw their blanket in the dryer for 5-10 minutes right before bedtime. When you tuck your peanut in, they will be wrapped in a nice warm blanket. This adds obvious warmth but also security being wrapped up.
Speaking of being wrapped up, check out our article on the best toddler sleep sacks.
Click here for the latest sleep sack pricing on Amazon.
Have a routine
Off topic a bit, but make a routine for sleep. If everything else is in order, I prefer to read books. There are many books out there that are calming.
Whether you crawl into bed with your little one or sit in a chair next to them, this is the best time to read and stay calm.
Now enjoy your new found adult time with the children calmly in bed and snoozing away. On a side note, these tips will also help you sleep better and fall asleep easier as well. Even turning your cell phone on silent or do not disturb with the screen facing down could help you catch some extra minutes of R.E.M. sleep.
Looking for more information on sleep? Please check out our other articles on the subject:
Jillian Robinson (RN)
Jillian is a registered nurse and mom of two. Her eldest being a teenager and her youngest a toddler. The wide spread of ages, coupled with her medical background, give Jillian a unique insight into the challenges and joys families and parents face at each stage of life's journey.