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Parental Guidance: How to get kids to sleep (so you can too)

If your children have trouble sleeping and are keeping you from slumbering, we have some tips that might help you get a good night's rest.
/ Source: TODAY

Are you extremely tired, grumpy, clumsy, disoriented, emotional, stressed or finding it hard to concentrate? If the answer is yes, you might just be a parent.

It’s pretty much a given as parents that we do not sleep. I remember vividly when my first daughter was a newborn that I absolutely dreaded going to bed. Why? Because I knew that I would be getting up every two to three hours to breastfeed her. I knew I would never enter that deep REM dream mode that I so desperately yearned for.

Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely adored my precious miracle and our sleepless nights together, but the day she was born was the day I found out we would never sleep again! Or so I thought.

Luckily, it turned out that my eldest was a pretty good sleeper. She slept through the night at 8 weeks. Can I get an AMEN?!? My husband and I woke up startled the first time she made it 12 hours because we thought something was wrong with her. Lo and behold, she was sound asleep in her crib. We high-fived and fist-pumped like crazy that morning. I actually think I was weeping tears of joy! We made it, or so I thought.

Then along came baby No. 2. This time around I was prepared to get sleep.

My first piece of advice starts the day your beautiful baby is born. Keep him or her in the hospital nursery. OK, this might sound a tad insensitive because all you want to do is bond with your little bundle of joy, but the nursery is there for a reason — do not feel guilty!! This is YOUR time to recoup and get some much-needed z’s. Let a trained professional take care of your baby for the night or two that you are in the hospital. TRUST ME there will be plenty of bonding time, especially at night!

As our kids get older, there are different reasons why they and, in turn, you, don’t sleep. Bedwetting, bad dreams, monsters, or your child just likes to sleep with you. If you are at a loss and need some help getting some sleep, then Willie and I are here to help. We tackle those sleepless nights in our latest Parental Guidance episode. From glitter to water noodles (don’t laugh, just watch!), we have some tips that might help you get a good night’s rest.

Do you have any great tricks or stories that might help other parents who are sleep deprived? Do you have an idea for an upcoming Parental Guidance episode? Please tell us on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #ParentalGuidance: @megancolarossi, @williegeist, @today_parents. As we all know, being a parent is the toughest job in the world, but it’s totally worth the wild ride, especially when we get a little help from a friend!