First of all, let’s all just agree that it is perfectly natural if your children are having trouble falling asleep during the quarantine Adults all over the world are reporting trouble sleeping, more vivid dreams than usual, and all kinds of disruptions in their usual sleeping patterns. Can we even wonder if our children are going through the same thing?
Even if they are not old enough to quite understand what’s going on, or even if you have limited their access to the worst of the news – kids are smart and incredibly adept at picking up your own feelings and moods. Chances are they will have some trouble going to sleep.
What To Do If Your Kids Have Trouble Sleeping During Quarantine
How much sleep does my child need?
Let’s explore what you can do to help them rest…
The first thing you should know is how much sleep your child needs to stay healthy and happy. Of course, your child’s needs may be different from what is the usual recommendation, but it will at least help you establish a baseline.
Also, keep in mind that kids will now not tire themselves out like they do when going to school and engaging in all of their usual activities. One of the things you can do to help in that respect is to get them to be as active as possible, depending on your particular situation. Expect some extra energy, in any case.
Set a bedtime and wake up time for everyone
It’s always best to lead by example, so start by setting a bedtime for every member of the household. Just because tomorrow isn’t technically a school day or a workday doesn’t mean you can all stay up indefinitely.
Set this new bedtime (if you are modifying it to the usual one) based on the time you all need to be up in the morning, and make sure you have one for yourself, too. It’s important that your child realizes things are still going on as normal, albeit under slightly different circumstances.
Stick to nap times
If your child is still napping, try not to upset their usual schedule. While you don’t actually need to be going anywhere, it’s important to stick to the comforting routines you have in place, and this is even more important when it comes to sleep.
While naptime now may clash with some other obligations (your own work, for example), still try to make it a priority, as it will be a great aid to getting the kids to bed in the evening.
Talk things through during the day
Instead of talking about your child’s anxieties and worries while they’re getting ready for sleep, try to reserve these conversations for the daytime. That way, they will have plenty of time to digest what you have talked about and will have plenty of time to ask any additional questions if they have them.
If you need to assuage a specific fear at bedtime, keep it short and to the point, and agree to talk about it more in-depth as soon as you all wake up. Also, make sure your child’s bedroom is comfy and safe.
Avoid sleep crutches
We all let our kids come into our bed sometimes, but the more we do it, the less likely they are to be able to go back to sleep on their own. This difficult time is not a good time to be forming these kinds of habits either.
If you need to put your child to bed twice and go through the same routine, do it. Stay with them and tuck them in, and sit in front of their door until they settle if you need to, but try not to sit next to them, as they will rely on your presence to settle.
Let them read or look at a picture book or engage in another soothing activity while they’re in bed after you have tucked them in if that will help them. But most importantly, try to avoid making a habit of their nightly visits to your bedroom.
Sleep is one of the most important things we do in our lives and forming good sleeping habits while young is a very useful habit to have all through life.
It may be difficult and require more time for your children to settle and fall asleep during the pandemic, but do your best to stick to your usual routines. They’ll calm down soon enough, and in the meantime, you’ll have to rely on that crucial parental quality: patience.
Are you kids having trouble sleeping during quarantine? What are you doing to help them out?