Summer Sleep Tips for Babies and Kids

Baby sleeping in bed with mother.

Summer Sleep Tips for Babies and Kids

Summer is here and it is HOT. Many parents are worried about weekend travel, late sunsets, and frequent BBQs totally derailing the wonderful sleep routine they’ve spent all winter working on. This fear is completely well-founded; summer sleep is HARD. Between the travel, excitement, increased outside play, and late bedtimes, it’s easy to for schedules and routines to fall by the wayside (be that intentionally or unintentionally).

But even though it’s summer, babies and young children still need to be sleeping well. If you’re committed to maintaining some healthy sleep habits this summer (while also living your best life), it’s totally possible. With some strategic planning and firm boundaries, you can keep sleep on track this summer. Follow these summer sleep tips below!

Summer Sleep Tips

Make the bedrooms cool and dark.

Since the production of melatonin – our sleepy hormone – is impacted by light, having a super dark bedroom will make it easier for your child to fall asleep and stay asleep even with the extra hours of sunlight. It should be as dark during the day for naps as it is at night. You may have to get a little creative here. If you don’t already have blackout curtains, I’d highly recommend adding getting them. Sometimes, even that isn’t enough. I’ve worked with families who have used tinfoil to block the window, tacks and tape to bolster the sides, and towels to keep out light from under the door.

It is also important to make sure that your child’s bedroom is cool. In the hot summer months, it doesn’t take much for the room to warm up during the day. The optimal temperature for summer sleep (or for any season!) is between 68°-72°F. If you cannot keep it that cool in the house, consider using a fan, lighter pajamas, and fewer blankets (when appropriate).

READ MORE
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Maintain a good bedtime routine.

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you can’t continue your bedtime routine as normal. Sure, you may have a late night here and there and your little one will fall asleep in the car on the way home, but when possible, giving your child the predictability of a routine to fall back on will greatly help summer sleep stay on track. (It will also help ease the transition when school starts up again in the fall!) 

Schedule down time.

One of the biggest mistakes parents make during the summer is over-scheduling themselves and their children. While it is definitely important to be outside enjoying the sunshine and plethora of summer activities, it is also important to prioritize rest. Babies and young children can become overstimulated very easily so it’s important to honor naps and quiet time. If your child is still napping, having at least 30 minutes of down time before trying for a nap or going down for bed can drastically help your child fall asleep. Giving your child’s body the chance to slow down is important; if you told me right after I walked out of the gym that I was supposed to lay down and fall asleep right away, I’d struggle too!

Even if your child is no longer napping, quiet time is still helpful! Plan for at least 30-60 minutes during the day where everyone can take some time to recharge their batteries. This may not happen every day, but if you can make it a habit 80% of the time, you’ll all be better for it!

READ MORE
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Stay consistent when traveling.

It’s easy to bend to limitations and pressures around sleep during summertime travels. Maybe you’re sharing a room with your kiddos in a hotel or you’re staying with family members who are light sleepers. If you begin to relax your boundaries and let your little one into bed with you when this is not something you normally allow or begin feeding them all night long to keep them from crying out, you can see how easily a slip can turn into a slide. Older toddlers may test your boundaries around this: are the rules at Grandma’s house the same as the rules at home? Maintain structure and hold firm to your priorities as much as possible and summer sleep should stay on track when you’re back home.

Honor the importance of sleep.

While summertime often means more travel, more activities, and a busier time in general, you can still make sleep a priority. Each child is different in how they react to changes in their schedule and how well they will sleep on the go. Especially if your child is a bit more sensitive, giving them the best environment to sleep in as often as possible can make a world of difference in keeping sleep on track. If your child is on multiple naps, prioritize having the first one at home if you can. It will make for a more pleasant child as you go about your fun summer activities! 

While it is true that the best laid plans often go awry, that doesn’t mean that you cannot strive for keeping sleep on track this summer. Be honest with yourself about what your priorities are and do not be afraid to voice them to friends and family. Enjoy the sunshine, travel, and quality time, but enjoy that sleep too!

READ MORE
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About the Author /

Jamie is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach and owner of Oh Baby Consulting where she offers personalized, gentle sleep solutions to exhausted families nationwide. With a background in child development and infant mental health, she keeps up to date on the latest evolutions in the field which allows her to blend technical knowledge with empathy and compassion to tailor the support she provides.

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Instagram post 17893588471419368 ⁠Gosh, they can be such a pain in the ass sometimes. But then when they stop and look at you with those puppy dog eyes, you can’t help but scoop them up and love on them. They might be a pain in the ass but they are YOUR pain in the ass. 😂❤️ (From one mother of a strong-willed--read exhausting and opinionated--kid to another!)⁠
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Instagram post 17853985321641015 I feel like several people have been going over a week past their due dates lately . . . Is it something in the water? 🤔 How many days before or after your due date did you have your baby? 👶❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
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Instagram post 17920976449353517 💪 Mom Hacks for Staying Fit After Having Kids⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
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Words & 📸 : @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 17863400905557801 Becoming a mother makes you realize you can do almost anything one-handed. 💁‍♀️⁠
📷: @hanna_wol⁠
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Instagram post 17865176050536267 Tell this to your kids when they are having a hard day or struggling. ❤️⁠
📷: @momthesedays⁠
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Instagram post 18004050754269786 "All the feelings apply to all the moms, in all the stages. We're more alike than not." ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17844140491774206 ⁠🎵 I’ve got my whole world in my hands
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I’ve got my whole world in my hands
I’ve got my whole world in my hands 🎵
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
📷: @megbed
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Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17857907638591275 Dinner time with toddlers can oftentimes be hectic and stressful. Sometimes they’ll eat what you’ve made them and other times they won’t. 😒 We’ve been there! This is why we are sharing two yummy dinner recipes that have been toddler approved that the whole family can enjoy—Taco Pizza and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! 😋
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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Instagram post 18010968127252794 Did you know that in some locations there are Mother's Milk Banks (@austinmilkbank)? They are nonprofit banks that collect donor human milk for babies in need. We love mamas like @lololovelyco who are donating their milk while also breastfeeding! I wish I had made enough milk when I was breastfeeding my son to have done the same. But I'm so grateful for mothers who can! Spreading the love to all of you milk making mamas! 🤱💗⁠
📷: @lololovelyco⁠
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Instagram post 17882796163445028 Happy Halloween! 🎃 Hope there is minimal (to no) whining and you don't have to break out your inner Mary Poppins to still create a magical evening with the family. ⁠
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And if there is some toddler nonsense, remember you can eat their candy while they sleep. 😜⁠
📷: @hipmomma007⁠
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Instagram post 17882685211447052 Psycho moms have more fun. 🤣 But for real though, I would have been scared sh*tless if I was a child and this kid was in my class. 😱 #happyhalloween!
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📷: @debiandbebi⁠
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Instagram post 17880589438445237 You know your child better than anybody. Do what YOU feel is best for your child and your family.  No explanations necessary. ❤️⁠
📷: @moderndaywonderland⁠
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