Guest Blog: Nina’s Sleeping Tips & Tricks for your little ones!
Welcome to parenthood!
Sleep can already be elusive for most of us but bring a baby into the mix and voila! It becomes the stuff of legends. Jokes aside, every parent longs for the day when their baby can finally sleep through the night. To all you sleep deprived mommies and daddies out there, this one’s for you! For this year’s World Sleep Day, OETEO in collaboration with Inara Organics have prepared a little something to help you and your little ones catch some quality shut eye.
Inara Organics – From One Mother to Another
In 2015 when Nina’s 3-month old daughter fell ill with bronchitis, the former nurse, armed with her knowledge of essential oils and natural remedies began creating products to nurse her daughter back to health. Nina would often share her creations with her family and friends and before long, Inara Organics was born. Since then, the company has established itself as a wellness enterprise that takes pride in its ability to create natural and organic solutions for parents and children that are both safe and effective.
The mother of two and founder and lady boss of Inara Organics, Nina Chua, is here to share some tips and tricks, of how you and your family can safely use essential oils for better sleep.
Can Essential Oils REALLY help with improving sleep?
The good news is that countless of studies have shown that when used thoughtfully and carefully, certain essential oils have a positive effect on tackling insomnia and improving sleep quality while reducing stress levels and anxiety. These are a few of Nina’s favourite essential oils that can help tackle insomnia, lower stress levels and manage anxiety
- Roman Chamomile
How to get your kids to sleep better – other tips and tricks
While there’s no magical formula or one size fits all remedy to make sure that you and your little ones get quality sleep, here are some strategies that might help!
Establish a routine
Children are creatures of habit and sticking to a routine makes them feel safe and secure and also regulates their body clock. When creating a bedtime routine, it’s also important to understand your child’s needs and respect their preferences. A routine that works for your friend’s child might not work for yours. The key thing is to be consistent and try to put your kids to bed at the same time every night, give or take 30 minutes.
Avoid sweets in the evening
For some children, bedtime snacks are a staple. Unless you want little energiser bunnies, be sure to avoid foods and beverages that are sugar laden or contain caffeine. Instead, opt for snacks which are nutritious, low in sugar and can help keep hunger at bay. Some options include nut butters, whole grain crackers or other complex carbohydrates like oatmeal.
Comfortable and functional clothing
Wearing the right clothes to sleep might seem trivial to some but the reality is that it matters. A lot. Dressing your children in safe, comfortable and functional clothing is a step towards improving their sleep. Given our tropical climate, Nina recommends clothing made of breathable materials such as cotton or bamboo that help regulate your child’s body temperature throughout the night. Parents with babies and younger children, especially those who are still in diapers should consider clothing that is fuss free and will make diaper changes a breeze. As adorable as some of them may be, try to avoid clothing with too many buttons or snaps. Instead, opt for clothing with zips or minimal snaps and buttons. OETEO carries a range of beautiful baby apparel using their innovative and award- winning Easywear design that doesn’t require any snaps, buttons or zips! Definitely something that parents should consider having in their arsenal of sleepwear, functional and hassle free!
Create a safe and sleep conducive environment
Setting the stage for a good night’s sleep is just as important as picking the right sleepwear. Safety first, for younger babies, ensure that their cribs or sleeping areas are free from pillows, stuffed toys, loose sheets or blankets or anything that might pose a risk of suffocation. Children can be easily overstimulated hence, it’s important to create a calming ambience that will prompt a physiological response in them to unwind and turn in for the night. Ensure that the room is dark and the temperature is cool. You can even play white noise or soothing lullabies that can help lull your kids to sleep. Night lights or projector lamps are another great option to provide them with a sense of safety as they drift off to sleep. At the end of the day however, it goes back to the idea that all children are different and hence, observe which sleep aids work best for your child.
Practice good sleep hygiene
This particular habit applies particularly to older kids, teenagers and adults alike. I’m talking about excessive screen time! I don’t know about you but till now, this is probably one of the things I struggle the most with when it comes to having good sleep hygiene. Guys, seriously, put your phones and tablets away! Did you know that the blue light emitted from mobile phones and tablets is detrimental to your sleep? Studies have shown that it affects the production of melatonin, the hormone that is responsible for regulating your body’s natural sleep cycle. On top of that, scrolling through your phone or tablet is stimulating and keeps your mind alert and active, making it harder to fall asleep. Nina recommends limiting screen time in both adults and children at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, try curling with a good book or read your kids a bedtime story!
Keep active during the day
Babies and children are a bundle of energy that can sometimes be just so difficult to keep up with, especially if you’ve had long day at work or managing the household. Nina recommends keeping your kids physically active during the day and towards the evening, help them wind down with quiet and calming activities. Drawing and coloring are great options that gives them room to develop their creativity and fine motor skills (You can find some of our FREE Printables activities here).
Besides that, you can also try doing puzzles together with your children which provides a good opportunity for communication and bonding. Even something as simple as reading them a bedtime story or having a heart to heart conversation for older children can do wonders for developing your relationship with them and setting the stage for a relaxing evening. Don’t limit yourself to these suggestions, choose activities that appeal to your children and suit your family’s lifestyle.
Nina’s bedtime routine
Nina is the mother to two beautiful children, a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son. Between running her business, managing her household and attending to her kids, having a good night’s sleep couldn’t be more important.
By around 7pm in the evening, they are usually exhausted from all the day’s activities and it marks the beginning of their wind down routine. Her children have a warm bath accompanied with balms from her product line. Listed below are her a few of favourite balms that she consistently includes in their bedtime routine:
- Chest Rub
- Immunity Support
After her kids and bathed and dressed in their favourite pajamas, they usually do some simple activities together – her daughter loves drawing while her son prefers more sensory activities like playing with putty. Some days, they take a little more time than usual to settle in so this mama will read her kids a bedtime story or just have conversations with them talking about their day or whatever it is they feel like discussing.
If all else fails, please don’t despair!
Now after reading this, you might think to yourself that wow! This mama sure has it all figured out, but the truth is that she has her off nights too. There are some nights where her children simply don’t want to go to sleep. Children and just life in itself are unpredictable – tantrums, illness, developmental milestones, outings – every day is unique and there are so many things which can affect a bedtime routine that you might have painstakingly created. And you know what, it’s ok! The most important thing is consistency. Feel free to change up the activities to make things a little more exciting (not too exciting!) as long as the overall schedule and routine is pretty much the same. And if you’re still facing some bedtime struggles, just remain calm and do your best because at the end of the day, this too shall pass.
We hope that our tips and tricks along with Nina’s little sharing session will benefit you and your families in some way. Being a parent is tough so go easy on yourself and don’t forget to cherish all the moments with your children, the big and the small, the good and the not so good, for that is the beauty and joy of parenthood. For any parent out there who needs to hear this, you are doing an amazing job, you’ve got this!