Put My Baby to Sleep!
Technology can help with bedtime
Alexa, Help My Baby Sleep!
Don’t you wish that it was that easy? Just ask technology to put your little one to sleep. It’s definitely possible to use technology to support sleep and make parenting a little easier while ensuring you have a great connection with your child.
The unique Sleepy Lambs approach has a strong focus on emotional wellness, so having a strong connection with your baby, toddler, or young child is an essential component to healthy sleep, but we’ve discovered some “sleep hacks” where smart devices, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, can make it easier.
Here are a few ideas!
Routines & Schedules
Babies and children typically thrive on routines and schedules. The consistency puts them at ease, because they know what’s coming up next. For some families, it may seem boring, but having a consistent routine can play a big role in improving sleep.
Your smart devices can be programmed to say alerts at specific times, and it’s not uncommon for them to go down much better than hearing the exact same words from you.
For example, at 6:50, Alexa or Google Home can come on and say “Hi Katie and Johnny, bedtime is coming up soon. Time to put the toys away and start to get ready to go upstairs for your bath.”
Because it’s a novel way to be told, Katie and Johnny are less likely to protest.
Helpful for Parents, too!
Having it set for a consistent time may be helpful for you too, as a busy parent, always multi-tasking. From experience, I know it’s so easy to get busy with something, look at the clock and think “shoot, we should have started 20 minutes ago.”
In our house, with three school-age children, Alexa automatically lets me know the traffic on our 20-minute drive to school in the morning.
Alexa asks the kids to turn off the television, as one or more often watch something if they’re up a little early. Alexa tells the kids to start getting coats and shoes on while I’m typically rushing to change out of my morning walking gear.
I’m certainly not replaced or relaxing with a cup of tea, as I’m hustling them to keep moving, but, mornings are a bit calmer, as I repeat myself less.
Use Alexa to set timers to keep yourself and kids on time, to remember they need swim kits on Wednesdays, or to leave on time for nursery pick-up.
White or Pink Noise
Ask your smart device to play white or pink noise, or “sleep sounds,” and there will be more options than you could imagine. White or pink noise.
White or pink noise has long been known to help many newborns sleep better. After all, in the womb, it was as noisy as a vacuum going 24/7.
What many don’t realise, is that white or pink noise can be very helpful to help toddlers, older children, and even help adults sleep better.
Your smart device has an unlimited number of sounds available, so take your pick.
Remember, to be most effective, the sound should be played for the duration of sleep, especially for babies and toddlers.
Guided Meditation & Stories:
I’m a massive supporter of reading to or with your little ones at bedtime. You can start this wonderful routine from birth.
As children get older or your family grows, sometimes storytime is shorter, or, many kids need some extra time to wind down after storytime is over. Guided meditation and stories, or an audiobook is a great way to provide that support for your child.
For some children, storytime is quite stimulating, as their insatiable curiosity leads to 3027 questions and is not very conducive to relaxation and falling asleep.
After bedtime stories, try “Alexa, please play Bedtime Explorers.” Bedtime Explorers is a popular and highly-reviewed relaxation meditation podcast designed for young children. You can choose between three themes – Dinosaur Buddies, Magical Places, and Animal Magic, with over a dozen episodes for each theme.
You can listen to Bedtime Explorers on Alexa devices, as well as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. I highly recommend Bedtime Explorers to help your little ones relax.
A relaxing story may help your little one relax and drift off to sleep, too. It’s important to choose an audiobook or story that isn’t too stimulating that would have the opposite effect and keep your little one awake. Children often relax the most when they listen to a story that they already know well, or have heard many times.
How do you use smart devices to complement your parenting? Share your tips in the comments!
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Mary Foster is the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting, and mum of three little ones (at one time three under three).
She’s a proud Canadian, loves living in England and is passionate about healthy sleep with a strong focus on emotional wellness, using her education background in science.
In 2018, we launched a comprehensive training program to become a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant and franchise program. Opportunities are available worldwide. Visit SleepConsultantCourse.com for more info.