Love Bombing – How Emotional Connection Can Support Sleep by Emily Kelly of Snoozy Sleep
Love Bombing – How Emotional Connection Can Support Sleep
Written by Emily Kelly @Snoozy_Sleep
As we start to slowly navigate our way into what is now our new normal and our little people start to go back to school and nursery, it is not a surprise that their overnight sleep may be affected. Settled sleep is not just about a good routine, some black out blinds, and self-settling, it is also about emotional connection and feeling safe. Children all carry their own individual love tank and this tank becomes depleted throughout the day when they have been away from their favourite people, so filling up that love tank before bedtime is a wonderful way to support them with being okay to go to sleep.
So, how do we fill up that love tank? With love bombing.
What is love bombing?
Love bombing is all about giving your little one your undivided attention, special one on one time, where you are fully present with absolutely no distractions. Remember, how much time you are physically with your child is not the same as the quality of that time, you can spend all day with your little one but they may still resist going to bed if they feel they have not had “enough” of you during the day.
When children “act out” or resist going to bed, it tends to be in most cases they are using those behaviours to try and communicate that they have not seen enough of you. That feeling is quite complex and very hard for a toddler to put words to, so instead trying to stall bedtime or being upset when going to bed is a far easier way to try and get the message across.
Ideas for love bombing
There are no set rules for love bombing, you can do whatever you feel works best for you and your little one, just remember the key is to not have any distractions so you are fully present for the time you set aside. Some examples are:
- Rough housing: for toddlers and older children get involved with some play fighting, pillow fights, chuck them on the bed and let them jump back into your arms, tickling etc…get the emotional connection through lots of physical connection.
- Extend your bedtime so it is not rushed: one of the biggest mistakes a lot of parents can make is getting their little one from nursery / school, rushing home, doing dinner and then trying to get them into bed for 7pm. Giving yourself an extra 30/40 mins in the evening to do bedtime not only takes the pressure and stress off of you, it allows your little one to relax and get some quality time in with you.
- For smaller littles give them lots of eye contact, smiles and get down on the floor to play with them if they are having some quiet play time before bed. You can watch them and mimic what they are doing, if they start shaking a toy, shake one with them!
- Let your little one pick which book you read to them that night: giving our little ones any feelings of control over a situation massively helps reduce their stress levels, so you could also try giving them options throughout the evening to help them feel more in control (what PJs they would like, what colour towel they would like when getting out of the bath etc).
- Give them time to talk: children can carry so many worries with them, which may seem like nothing to us, but are such a big deal to them. Children want, and need, their feelings to be heard and validated, so make time in the evening for your children to talk to you. If they don’t want to talk, or seem embarrassed, give them a worry box next to their bed so they can write them down and post them into the box, so their head doesn’t have to house them whilst they are trying to sleep.
Everyone Deserves A Good Nights Sleep
Emily Kelly is a OCN Level 5 Certified Infant Sleep Consultant. Emilys other blogs on the SMK Site include 'Routines do not mean house arrest', 'Sleep Associations', 'Why sleep regressions do not exist' and more - find these under Blogs/Resident Experts.
More help and support to help improve your childs sleep can be found at https://www.snoozysleep.co.uk
You can follow Emily @Snoozy_Sleep