By Megan Heuer – Good Night Sleep Consultant
I am a routine-driven mom. I am not a hyper-scheduler, but in our family we enjoy gentle rhythms of how our days play out from waking until sleeping again.
My daughter was a ‘textbook’ baby and slept well and through the night from 12 weeks old until now at 3.5years of age. She loves her sleep and still sleeps deeply and well. Then along came my son and he didn’t love sleep as much as my daughter. I guided him into a sleep routine at 6 months and he has been sleeping well since then. However, my children are not robots and do have the odd bad night or nap.
During lockdown there has been a lack of normality. I was worried that things would change, but I saw that even though our new normal day was different, our routine for naps and bedtime remained unchanged.
Then my son had a freak accident and ended up in hospital during lockdown. If you know hospitals, you will know it is not a place known for rest and sleep. Health professionals come and check vital signs, administer medication and assess body temperature every 3 hours. After 3 nights in hospital, my little guy woke up every time the nurses came into the room; he is a light sleeper and stirs easily and is not as easily settled. He seemed to wake up at 5am for the day, and I was concerned that this would be his new normal. Thankfully, after getting home and being immersed in his normal bedtime routine of drinking milk, bathing then dressing and hopping into bed, he slept through from 6:15pm until 6:05am.
Helping my children understand what is expected of them with their sleep has had a huge impact on getting our family back on track as soon as something out of the ordinary happens. Children are clever and they know when different situations or environments allow for different behaviours. Consistency, guidance and gentle rhythms to our days has created peace among the Covid-19 chaos.