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When Kids Can’t Sleep

No doubt about it, sleepovers are super fun…until your kid is the last one awake! There’s nothing worse than being in a strange house, probably on a strange floor, with a bunch of other kids who are snoozing away. If your child has trouble sleeping in different places, these three ideas will help her get some shut-eye before the sun comes up (and P.S. they totally work at home too):

PACK A SLEEPOVER RESCUE KIT It should include:
Disposable foam earplugs They block out noisy breathers and outright snorers.
Tablet or phone with headphones She can listen to music or a book (no videos!).
Sleep mask Just in case a light is on.
Lavender inhaler The scent of lavender is calming. With this inhaler (it’s about the size of a lipstick tube), she can pop the cap and breathe in the scent. Keep this next to her bed too!

TEACH BELLY BREATHING
Have her practice before she goes: When she’s lying down, have her put a small stuffed animal or her hand on her belly. Tell her to take a couple of slow deep breaths and watch the animal go up and down. Then tell her to close her eyes, and breathe in slowly as she counts silently to 3. Have her hold her breath for 3 seconds, then slowly breathe out for 3. Keep repeating the 3-3-3 pattern.

TRY PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
While lying down, have her squeeze her toes as hard as she can for five seconds, then let go. Next, tell her to squeeze all the muscles in her legs for five seconds; let go. Have her do the same with her belly, back, shoulders, and face. Then have her squeeze all her muscles and release everything at once.

Of course, sometimes even our best efforts to get to sleep fail. In that case, there’s always the midnight (or 2 a.m.) pickup!

For more sleep tips, check out Sleep Routines for Kids.