What Does Your Child Want for Christmas?



You might think that your child wants lots of new toys for Christmas but an exhausted child is not going to be able to enjoy them. The holidays become unpleasant for everyone when your child is cranky, irritable and crying frequently. The best thing you can give your child for Christmas is the gift of learning how to sleep. That is a gift which lasts a lifetime!

Sleep is a skill each child needs to learn. Your child must learn how to go to sleep but then also how to stay asleep so that your child can sleep through the night. As parents we sometimes interfere with our children learning that skill without realizing we are interrupting it. If you put your child in bed each night completely asleep, your child does not have an opportunity to learn the ability to get to sleep by him or herself. If you pick up your child and rock them each time they cry during the night, your child cannot learn how to deal with waking up slightly during the night.

I recently worked with a family and their 20-month-old son who was waking up three times per night for about an hour. The little boy looked miserable. He had dark circles under his eyes. He was having a lot of behavior problems, temper tantrums, whining and screaming.

I helped the parents put better sleep habits in place. That little boy began to sleep twelve hours at night without those hour-long screaming sessions in the middle of the night. He was so proud and happy about sleeping all night that mom told me he would clap for himself each morning. Her little boy was so much happier. He wanted to sleep as much as his parents wanted him to do so.

If you have been sleep-deprived, you know how terrible that feels. Your body craves sleep. Lack of sleep can make you feel sick and miserable.
Your child also feels the same way when not getting enough sleep.

If you have a child who wakes up frequently each night and/or takes short naps, I can help you. Let me guide you as you teach your child to become well-rested. You and your child can enjoy the holiday season and start a happy new year by sleeping through the night.


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.

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