Early Risers and Night Owls

Getting your child to sleep even if the sun is up

Sunset from Megan

Some of our little early-risers are up as soon as the sun is. I have a daughter like that. She seems to sense when the sun is even thinking about coming up. She jumps out of bed, eager to start the day.

Maybe you have a child who prefers the summer nights and resists bedtime because “it is still light outside”.

The longer days of summer can lead our children to resist bedtime or wake too early in the morning or maybe both. It becomes difficult for our children to receive the correct amount of sleep each night.

  • Some tips to protect sleep for our children:
  •  1. Spend time each day in that wonderful sunshine. The outside air is refreshing for each of us. Going for a walk can calm and relax a fussy baby. A toddler loves to explore the amazing outdoors where everything is new to them. Even a tired parent will feel better after spending some time outdoors.
    -Find a new park or area to visit each week of the summer.
    -Make at least a once per week play date to connect with other parents and children. It is enjoyable for our children to connect with children their same age. It is refreshing for you, the parent, to talk with other parents dealing with the same issues you are.
  • 2. Nap time is important. Yes, it is hard to fit those naps in when you have a busy day planned, but sleep must be a priority. You would not forget to feed your child because it did not fit into your schedule so don’t leave out the nap either. It is just as important as food for the growth and health of your child.
  • 3. Plan for bedtime.
    -The activities prior to bedtime will influence the difficulty or ease of bedtime. If your child is having a fun activity, remind the child how much longer that activity is. Give them a 10-minute reminder and then a 5- minute reminder. Don’t negotiate with your child about the time. Give the child clear guidelines and be firm with them.
    -Use your bedtime routine to relax your child to prepare for sleep. A bath can be very relaxing and necessary if the child has been playing outside. A massage while you are talking over the fun events of the day will be relaxing and fun for child and parent. For a young child, you the parent, will review the day for them.
  • 4. The sleep environment needs to promote sleep.
    -Try to keep the bedroom a comfortable temperature. The use of a fan can serve two purposes; cool the room and provide some background noise.
    -Make sure the room is dark. Light tells the brain to wake up. Use room darkening blinds or curtains to block out light which will make it easier for your child to fall asleep at bedtime and to stay asleep in the morning.

Enjoy the longer days of summer. Enjoy the nights of sleep too.

Helping Babies and Children Sleep


Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

Infant Tummy Massage to Relieve Gas

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Alix Kron
Alix Kron
4 months ago
We cannot say enough positive things about our experience working with Arlene!! We were desperate for sleep, going almost 5.5 months with frequent wake ups, nursing back to sleep, nonstop crying during the day, screaming in the car and becoming more and more hopeless as time went on without having success … Arlene changed all of that within no time. She listened to exactly what was going on for us, developed a sleep plan specific to our daughter’s needs/our goals and was so supportive and answered all of our questions along the way. It was very easy to follow the plan that she developed and it included naps and weaning off of night feedings. We saw a difference in our daughter almost immediately! Arlene has absolutely transformed our lives and given us the ability to enjoy each other and feel so much better getting the sleep we all want and NEED! Our daughter is now sleeping 11-12 hours per night, eating only once overnight as opposed to every 1-2 hours, is on a great nap schedule and is so much happier!!! It’s the best money we’ve spent.
Adrienne G.
Adrienne G.
2 years ago
We worked with Arlene to sleep train our 22 month old son who had been bed sharing and nursing to sleep. She helped us develop a sleep plan that was specific to our son's needs. It addressed both his nighttime sleep and his naps. It really took the guess work out of the endeavor, because as a parent, even if you read all the sleep books, there are many different opinions and it is hard to know what is right. Arlene was attentive, flexible and available to answer all of our questions and concerns. I would highly recommend working with her! Our son now sleeps 11-12 hours a night and put himself to sleep on his own. Sleep training him has been a game changer for me (I sleep now too!) and for him. He seems well rested and his development seems to be progressing faster now too. His language skills are flourishing since he is getting better rest.
Amanda C
Amanda C
4 years ago
We just wrapped up our second time working with Arlene, and had another great experience! Arlene helped us sleep train our first baby a few years ago when she was 4 months old at the time. She was a terrible sleeper, waking up once every hour and needing to be rocked to sleep for what felt like hours and hours each day. I was a stressed, exhausted, and worried first time mom, and I was drawn to Arlene’s calm and experienced approach. She gave us an option for a gentler strategy that worked for us at the time, and was detailed and responsive in her sleep plan and attentiveness. Our daughter just turned 2.5 years old and is still a great sleeper. So once our second baby turned 4 months recently, we did not hesitate to work with Arlene again. We now have two rockstar sleepers in our household, thanks to Arlene! It means the world to us that she was there to help guide us, instill confidence, and most importantly, help teach our children such a valuable skill they will undoubtedly benefit from for the rest of their lives.
Begoña Cirera
Begoña Cirera
2 years ago
Arlene helped me first with my first son who was 2.5 year old when I hired her. He slept with me during breastfeeding. He never wanted to sleep in his crib. I was due with my second, and I needed better rest, and had no clue how to get him to sleep away from my bed. I even had to sleep w him during naps, or he wouldn’t sleep. I had to walk him for hours to fall asleep every night. It was awful. Two weeks after Arlene helped us create a program for him, he was done!!! He was sleeping in his own room, all night (12+ hours) and he was SO HAPPY during the day. We learned so much, and all made so much sense. After trying methods and books, nothing worked. My son is almost 6, and he falls asleep at 7:30pm every evening, until 7:00am. As a parent, you know how precious those hours are. With my second one, I didn’t make the mistake of waiting until he was two to train him to sleep. By 3 months, we slowly started, with Arlene’s help. I never had to walk him or be there for him to fall asleep. He’s now 3, and he is a great sleeper, much better than his big brother ever was, still takes 90-min naps, and sleeps 11 hours a night. Every penny I spent to hire Arlene’s expertise is worth it. My only regret was not to look for her sooner. Lifesaver, 100%.
Abbey Stidam
Abbey Stidam
6 years ago
Arlene Fryling at Gentle Touch Sleep Time helped our son sleep, which helped us sleep! We were having trouble transitioning our son (4 months at the time) from his rock-n-play to the crib and our amazing sleeper since birth was all of a sudden not sleeping very much. Arlene talked with us about what was going on with his sleep and why the change in his sleep pattern. She answered all our questions and calmed our worries and frustrations. She came up with a sleep plan that worked for our family. She guided us every step of the way. He is now an amazing sleeper again! He is 18 months old and sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 1 1/2 - 2 hour nap. He loves to sleep and never fights sleeping. I am so thankful we had Arlene Fryling help us and we were able to teach our son to sleep.