I hope that you and your family have been enjoying sandcastles, fruity Popsicles, and relaxed schedules. This is such a fun and unique time of year!
My favorite time of day is currently 8:00pm. It's still light out, the breeze is cool (at least, here in Virginia it is!), and the girls are sleeping. Flash-forward a few hours and you have my least favorite time of day: sun rise at 5am. What in the world?! It always sneaks up on me and I seem to forget summer days really are incredibly long.
If you've been struggling with early morning wake ups, fighting bedtime, or short naps...they've all got one thing in common: LIGHT!
Early Morning Sun: Even the tiniest bit of sunlight in the room can pull a child out of their sleep and signal the brain it's time to wake up....at FIVE AM. Make sure the room stays completely dark all night and morning, giving them the opportunity to naturally wake when they are done sleeping.
Short Naps: At nap time your little one may fall asleep easily, but 9 out of 10 times I've solved short naps by simply ensuring the room is completely dark. It could be that simple!
Bedtime: Remember to shut down screens an hour before bedtime routine. Blue light emitted by screens stops the secretion of melatonin (natural hormone to help sleep). This, combined with a dark room will help them fall asleep much quicker!
The Fix: Hang blackout blinds, towels, blankets, blackout curtains, whatever!
The Rule: You should not be able to read a book when you shut the lights off. That dark!!
The Nightlight: When working with clients I ask them to remove any nightlight. If a toddler asks for it, that's fine, but newborns and babies have no concept of "wanting" a nightlight. Typically it's for us to see when we go in to feed or check on baby. Instead, keep a small flashlight on your nightstand. Then turn on a small lamp when you do a night feed.
Cheers to summer and happy memories! Enjoy the days, but make sure your little one isn't taking advantage of ALL that sunlight ;)
P.S. Tried these tips and still struggling with sleep? Download my free bedtime guide on the homepage!