It is very common for children’s sleep to be affected during and after a divorce. During times of transition, getting good sleep will help both you and your child thrive and adjust to a new normal. Here are some tips you (and your ex) can use to prioritize your child’s sleep habits, and subsequently get some sleep for yourselves as well.
Tip #1: Have a special lovey that travels with your child.
If your child has a lovey or a special blanket/stuffed animal, it can provide a lot of comfort for them, especially in a new environment. Since your child may have two different bedrooms now, it is imperative that your child has something that can ground them in a new space. A comfort item that they are accustomed to sleeping with will help calm your child and help them feel secure.
Tip #2: Use similar bedtime routines at each house.
For the sake of your child, it is a good idea to keep their bedtime routine the same at each house. While living situations change and different routines may come with that, a child is not able to easily adapt to a new routine. If you can, keep the time that your child goes to bed the same. Keeping the same familiar routine (bath, brush teeth, story, etc.) will also help your child feel secure and comfortable.
Tip #3: Keep the same sleep environment
Can you see a pattern here? Our goal with guiding a child through a transition from one to two bedrooms is consistency. You want to make their new circumstances as familiar to them as possible. If you’ve been around the blog for a bit, you know that I always recommend a dark sleep environment. I also recommend your child has a crib/bed of their own, their own space to sleep in.
Helping your child through any transition can be tough. The bottom line is this: give them consistency and familiarity. When all else seems to be changing around them, a child needs to feel grounded and safe in their situation. Using these tips you can ensure that your child has the tools to walk through a transition with ease.