Life, I've come to learn, is not always ideal. I know, big shocker, right? :) Truth is, if life WAS ideal... well then I'd probably be out of a job (as would a LOT of professionals out there!)
But one of the joys of the world we live in is that we've got to learn to make the best of with the situations we've been given, and sometimes, that means figuring out what to do with a light sleeper.
Sometimes it's a child who's always been a light sleeper, sometimes it's a kid who could "sleep anywhere" when he was sleep deprived, but now is a bit more sensitive. Other times, it might be a regular sleeper in a small apartment, noisy house, or noisy neighborhood.
So what to do?
Well, you knew I would say it, and here it is-
My Number One Light Sleeper Tip:
Make sure your child can sleep independently. We're all going to have some kind of awakenings during the night - ( like those partial awakenings that we all have in between sleep cycles) but the key to conquering ANY kind of wake-up is to be able to fall asleep by independently. As time passes and your little one's independent sleep skills improve, that "light sleeping" may disappear entirely.
Try a pink (not white) noise machine. While I generally wouldn't recommend this for the long term, using a noise machine as your child adjusts to independent sleep skills can help mask sudden or irregular noises to make your little one less likely to wake.
Again, as time passes and those skills solidify, that you can easily fade that white noise by slowly cutting the volume to wean your little one from the noise machine entirely.
I would recommend using a noise machine in the newborn stage for the same reason - newborns spend lots of time in active, lighter sleep, and, since they cannot yet self-soothe, will wake more easily. Using a white noise machine at an appropriate volume can help them stay asleep while they learn some independent sleep skills.
Yes, you might have other kids, or live on a busy street that has ambulances passing by day and night -- but don't underestimate your child's ability to tune it all out.
Falling asleep in noise may be difficult, but once your child is asleep (and again, especially if they have those independent sleep skills, they'll be able to transition back into sleep a lot easier!), he may just be able to learn to sleep through it.
Our brains are great at tuning out extra noises that they become accustomed to, so giving your little on the opportunity to get used to the noise may just be the key to solving that.
This is especially important to keep in mind with twins, or any other siblings who share a room - once they learn to sleep through the other's cries or noises, life will be a lot simpler for all of you!
I remember I was afraid to drop my twins' noise machine for quite some time, but when I did, I was very surprised to find that they could sleep through the vacuum, a noisy group on the main floor, blender or food processor running, and even me talking on the phone right outside their door. Pretty impressive to know what kiddos can sleep through!
And it feels great to be able to know we can all get the sleep we need, and I can still get things done in the evening.
How did these tips work for you? Let me know in the comments!