Renovating? How To Protect Your Child’s Sleep Schedule And Promote Healthy Sleep
If you are in the midst of growing your family, chances are you are thinking about a renovation in the not too distant future. My husband and I have lived (and have remained married) through two renovations. During our first renovation I slept on a pull out couch in our basement surrounded by our belongings while I was 9 months pregnant. I whole-heartedly do not recommend this. During our second renovation (and two children later), we moved out temporarily. Best. Decision. Ever.
During our second renovation (and two children later), we moved out temporarily. Best. Decision. Ever.
Major renovations can have a significant impact on how your family functions and it’s best to find temporary accommodations to help minimize the stress of the process. It’s also important to consider how dust and debris will impact your family. Don’t forget that your child is more likely to be sensitive to dust, which can be especially problematic at night while they are trying to sleep.
A little planning and preparation before you embark on a renovation can make a world of difference, especially where sleep is concerned. Here are my top tips to make sure everyone sleeps well while you are on the move.
Before you move
- Room Assignments. Determine room assignments without your child’s input. Letting your child decide who gets which room can lead to conflict, something you will want to avoid.
- Visit the Space. Visit your temporary accommodations in advance more than once (if possible) to show your child their new sleep space.
- Take only what they need. Let you child select items that they identify with their sleep space and items that bring them comfort. This avoids the hassle of packing and unpacking multiple times. It also helps to speed up the process of getting their bedroom ready.
- Let your child help to prepare their new sleep space. Giving your child some responsibility and ownership over their bedroom preparations will help with the transition.
- Make sure it’s safe. Identify and address tripping, electrical and strangulation hazards through out your temporary accommodations, particularly in your child’s bedroom. Watch out for unsecured furniture as well.
- Figure out window coverings in advance. If your child is accustomed to sleeping in a dark space, it’s important to know how you will address this need in their temporary bedroom. Many rentals come equipped with light filtering, but not light blocking window coverings. Installing new curtain rods may be frowned upon. Speak to your landlord about options, or purchase an inexpensive tension rod to hang up existing drapes or blankets.
While you are there – how to get healthy sleep
- Expect baby sleep regression. The excitement of moving and an unfamiliar sleep space will likely cause some sleep regression. Accepting this in advance will help you manage it that much better. You may have to do baby and toddler sleep training again.
- Be consistent. Nap times, bedtimes and routines should remain the same. The consistency in how and when your child goes to bed is important in establishing boundaries. My two year old suddenly stopped napping when we moved into our rental. We kept the routine and timing consistent, and within the week he was back to his usual napping schedule.
- Use a gradual approach. Use the same gradual approach you used when moving into the rental. Your home will look and feel vastly different, so it’s important to give your child a chance to warm up to these changes. This is even more important if you have made changes to your child’s room.
- Don’t unpack all of their things at once. I make the mistake of unpacking everything right before my son’s nap. The result? He was so excited to see his Fisher Price Record Player, that he didn’t nap that day!
- Expect baby sleep regression…again! A little regression should be expected when moving back as well. Be consistent and firm about the expectations surrounding sleep and everyone should be back on track in no time.