How To Get Your Kids To Sleep Longer…

When we purchased this home, we knew it would be our forever home.  We knew that my mom would come live with us, and we knew that the layout was perfect.  Each kid had their own room, and we had pretty decent sleepers.  What we wouldn’t realize (due to the time of year we purchased – Fall) was that the larger kid room – Aubrey’s – would turn into a sauna during the summer.

Each room has big beautiful dual paned windows that let in some great light. Luke’s room is located at the back of the home and nuzzled between our bedroom and the living room. His room always stays an even temperature.  Aubrey’s, on the other hand, receives all the  direct morning/mid-day sun and is situated between a bathroom and our garage.  Every morning she’d be up (early) and her room was already warm.  Nap time on the weekends were difficult as she would have so much light coming in.

Why am I mentioning the difference in the rooms? Well, with the birth of this new baby, the kids needed to bunk up and share rooms.  Aubrey’s room is the bigger of the two and that meant would most comfortably fit them both.  I was stressing about Luke’s sleep in there since it would be hot during all of his naps, and he would wake up even earlier with all the light.  It’s pretty much the only thing that has made me postpone the move into one room.

One Saturday morning (after a really early wake up call from the kids) Jon announced it was moving day.  He told me we just needed to get it done and the next few weeks wouldn’t result in much opportunity.  We put Paw Patrol on for the kids, and he and I got to work. I was in charge of the clothing.  Aubrey has a 5 drawer dresser as well as 2 drawers with her twin bed that needed to fit all their clothing and their extra sheets.  I started a bag and went through to pull out all their too-small clothing.

Jon was in charge of the furniture.  Presently Luke had a 4 cubby Ikea Expedit in his closet to house his books & toys.  Aubrey had an 8 cubby that housed her toys, books, tv, DVR, and gigantic My Little Pony castle. Her cubby went in Luke’s closet, and his toddler bed & cubby went in her room.

I cleaned off her dresser and used that to put the MLP castle.  That thing is my nemesis as it crumbles whenever Luke touches it.  I put both their piggy banks on the dresser as well.  The top two drawers of the dresser were for Luke’s clothes – as my mom gets him ready after I take Aubrey to school.  Due to some limitations, she can’t reach the lower ones.  Aubrey’s clothes went to the bottom 2 and the middle drawer is for both of their PJs.  Her bed drawers hold all the extra bedding, as well as her baby doll.  That thing never really had a bed but at least it has a drawer – just like I imagine Laura Ingall had for her little sibling. LOL.

how to get your kids to sleep longer - blackout curtains

The light you see is from a tall pole lamp. Minus the lampshade….

My next project was the light & the heat.  Originally I was going to purchase these special black out panels from MySleepyFerret that adhere directly to the window glass.  My friend has them and she said they are amazing for keeping out light AND heat.  But, then I got a brilliant idea.  I remembered we had these smaller blackout panels from 2 houses ago that my friend gave me (because, again, that place got a LOT of light!) and they had tiny loops at the top to use to hook on to existing curtains.  I went in the garage, found them, and grabbed all the 3M hooks we had.

How To Get Your Kids To Sleep Longer

These Eclipse Thermal Liners (affiliate link to Amazon) are narrower than traditional panels.  I wanted it to be staggered under the existing curtains we had (which are both room darkening and noise reducing curtains by Sound Asleep) so literally no sun came in.  I put about 10 Command hooks at the top of the metal window frames and started hooking on the panels. WHAT A DIFFERENCE.

We turned down the AC to cool off their room and it was a normal temperature within 15 minutes.  It was so dark that you couldn’t be in there without the door open during daylight.  I’m amazed by my brilliantness and am so happy to report on the results.

Aubrey’s normal nap time in the room was about 1 1/2 hours.  She normally would wake up in the morning about 6:15.  Luke (in his room) would sleep about 3 hours for a nap and would wake up between 6:30-6:45.

On average, they’re both rocking 2 hour naps.  Granted, Aubrey is only on the weekend sleeping here, but that’s pretty great.  She sneaks out of the room when her nap is done and I go to shut the door behind her so Luke keeps sleeping.  In the mornings, Luke wakes up around 6:45 but lays quietly sucking his thumb for a bit.  The past few days Aubrey has been sleeping till 7:15.  This is such life changing.

Bed time is still interesting. We’re working on getting the right routine.  Some nights they crash fast, others they talk and swap places in bed.  I don’t know if this will continue (the great sleep) but I am enjoying some quiet time in the mornings after I’m ready for work.  I’m catching up on some bible reading as well as some hot coffee. I highly recommend doubling up on the blackout curtains 🙂


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