Well-rested kids are happy kids. That’s why it’s so important, with exciting holidays, traveling, and the upcoming anticipation of finding presents under the tree, to have a solid bedtime routine in place. But how is one to convince bouncy kids wired on sugar cookies and candy canes to slow down and unwind? We asked Tracy Braunstein, resident pediatric sleep consultant at Piccolo Universe founded by Ricki Martin, for a few pointers for parents on helping kids get the best sleep.

Kids Bedroom Decor

What are the benefits of a sleep consultation?
In the age of neverending advice available at our fingertips, parenting decisions can become quite overwhelming. One of the toughest issues that new parents face with their little ones is sleep. There are so many schools of thought, various parenting philosophies and more than a handful of sleep training methods to choose from. How does a tired and confused parent know which way to turn? This is where a certified sleep consultant is of such benefit. When I work with my clients we look at their current situation and take into account the science of sleep, the family parenting philosophy, and other factors. Together we come up with the proper plan that the parents feel they can commit to. Working with a consultant allows the parents to feel comfortable in implementing their plan. So much of my work is not just helping with getting their child to have healthy sleep, but I also support, encourage, educate and guide my clients throughout the process. This imparts key education to the parents and it sets the child up for success and makes it as easy as possible for them because we are doing everything correctly and consistently.

How do you create the perfect sleep environment for little ones?
It is important that when we put our children to bed, the environment is conducive to healthy sleep. The following is an ideal sleep environment:
Very dark room
Temperature between 20-22 degrees (depending on how your little one is dressed to sleep)
Quiet OR white noise (avoid music, crib entertainment, electronics)
Empty crib void of any pillows, blankets or toys

What are your tips for creating the best bedtime routine, and sticking to it?
Bedtime routine can vary depending on the age of the child, however, regardless of age, having a consistent bedtime routine is a crucial step in your quest towards healthy sleep.
Create a routine that is simple and not too long – 30-45 minutes is a good length.
A sample bedtime routine is as follows:
Warm bath
Baby massage
Story or lullaby
Place child down in a drowsy but awake state
Children thrive when there is consistency and routine. A solid bedtime routine will prepare both the mind and body for sleep.

Security Bear

How do you get overexcited kids to sleep, such as nights when they’re expecting Santa?
When there are events, travel, or anything out of the ordinary in a child’s life, the best thing to do is to stick to their usual routine as much as possible. That being said, well-rested children with good sleep habits have full “sleep tanks” and can tolerate disruptions very well. They usually will not be affected by those later nights here and there. Plus we all know Santa doesn’t come until the children are asleep!

The best part? If you shop any of our kids’ events today you will be automatically entered to win a free 30 minute sleep consultation with Tracy. Which is perfect because we have all the best in kids’ bedroom updates, and well as bedding essentials, PJs, and so much more, so you can get stocked up for the holidays!

Tracy is a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and a member of the IACSC. Check out her website, Sleep Tight Solutions, and visit her on Facebook.