Imagine standing in the middle of your favorite store (Target? TJ Maxx? Williams & Sonoma?) and being that you need to close your eyes and go to sleep. Just like that; no looking around, no covetous touching of the beautiful purses or candles or kitchen item. Just ignore it all and go to sleep.
That would be really hard for you, wouldn’t it?
Of course it would! You probably have a solid bedtime sleep routine, whether you realize it or not. You put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, wash your face, get into bed, read for a little while, turn off the light, and drift off to sleep.
Which is pretty much the exact opposite of going into a place filled with all kinds of lovely items you want to touch and explore, right? Of course it is.
Are You Accidentally Stimulating Your Child At Bedtime?
And yet that’s what many parents do to their children at bedtime, every single night. If your baby has toys in her crib, even a mobile, then you are stimulating her in the place that is meant for sleep.
Repeat after me, mama: Cribs are for sleeping. Got that? Once more for good measure. Cribs are for sleeping.
That means, as hard as it is because they’re just so cute, all toys and stuffed animals and mobiles need to disappear. They distract from the purpose of the crib, which is sleep, by winding your child up.
The one exception is that special something that signals sleep time, be it a favorite blanket, little teddy, or special doll. One “security toy” is always allowed, and will even come in handy on those nights when you have to sleep away from home like vacation.
Creating An Ideal Sleep Environment
If you want to create an ideal environment for sleeping (and you do!), you’ve got to cull out the distractions.
Pull out the toys, take down the mobile, and even get rid of the night light. A nice, dark sleep area is a much more sleep-inducing place than a lovely, softly lit toy store disguised as a crib.
Just like you put your phone down, shut off the TV, turn off the lights, and settle into a quiet room to sleep, your child needs help to do the same. And she is relying on you to do it for her, mama. You got this!