Make Your Child’s Bedtime Easy
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Learn how to make your child’s bedtime easy and build a consistent bedtime routine. For kids of all ages, bedtime can be a struggle. Kids get restless easily. Laying quiet in bed isn’t an appealing idea. Even adults have trouble shutting off their brains for the night. If you are struggling at night, here are five ways you can improve your child’s bedtime routine and help the whole family sleep better.
Make Bedtime Easy: 5 Ways to Build a Consistent Bedtime Routine for Your Child
Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule
It’s all about routine! Make sure that your kids go to bed at the same time every night, no exceptions. Try to keep this rule on weekends too. The more kids go to bed at the exact same time every day (even in the summer and on Saturdays), the more likely they will be to adopt that routine and fall asleep easier. If your kids are reluctant to go to bed before you, try “going to bed” as well. You don’t have to go to sleep, but you can read in bed or watch TV. Make a point of getting ready together, as a family, so your kids can model your positive behavior. Get in pajamas and brush teeth together. Sleep routines take time. But the results mean happier and healthier kids!
Create the Ideal Sleep Environment
Give your kids the best chance at sleep success by setting up the perfect bedroom environment. Use blackout shades or curtains to block light so the room is dark; but turn on a night light for comfort and so kids can find the bathroom. Science shows that we sleep better in a cold room. When we are warmer, we are more alert. But when our body temperature drops, we fall into a deeper sleep. Keep the house at 60 to 68 degrees at night, to ensure a quality sleeping experience. Consider your bedroom paint colors. Research has shown that red environments increase levels of stress and promote alertness. Create a relaxing environment by sticking to blue, grey, or white tones.
3 Bedtime Go-To’s: Bath, Snack, Story (in that order).
Help your kids “come down” from the day and get comfortable. A warm soothing bath is a fun reward at the end of the day and gives them a last opportunity to play with toys. After pajamas, give them a choice of snack. You know they are going to ask for one, so preempt their “sudden hunger” with a healthy choice. After teeth are brushed, read a bedtime story. Personalized storybooks are especially fun because the child sees themselves in the story! A custom bedtime book like Goodnight Little Me gently persuades the child to fall asleep. They will drift off to the sound of your voice and sleep with sweet dreams.
Make Bedtime into a Fun Game
Part of the reason kids hate bedtime is that it’s boring! All day they’ve been learning and playing…and now they have to give it all up to do nothing in bed. Make the bedtime routine something they look forward to by turning it into a game. See who can brush their teeth or put on pajamas the fastest. In the beginning, offer a reward tomorrow like an extra cookie at lunch or 5 extra minutes of storytime. Make up a silly song and sing it as you all brush your teeth. This helps them develop a brushing rhythm and makes the task fun!
Solve Bedtime Separation with a Special Toy Friend
Bedtime separation can be the worst. Maybe your child is starting to sleep on your bedroom floor in a sleeping bag. Maybe they suddenly show up in your bed, terrified to be alone in the dark. To help ease them into this transition of sleeping in bed, surprise them with a special plush toy. This is their bedtime friend that will listen to their fears, protect them, and comfort them when mommy or daddy can’t be there. When they are afraid, just squeeze their special toy and they will feel better. Kids need to learn to self-soothe. Try not to rush in every time your child is crying, or it disrupts the routine. Instead, give them a soothing substitute.
Kids thrive on a regular bedtime. Pave the way for sleeping success with these bedtime tips. You’ll get a better sleep too!