One of the most important parts of a child’s bedtime is their routine. Bedtime can be made a fun and predictable part of every single night, in turn eliminating or at least minimizing the bedtime battles and lack of sleep.
When Children don’t get adequate amounts of sleep there are many negatives that can occur. They can be grumpy and unreasonable or hyper and have trouble focusing. So, how can parents be part of instilling a positive relationship with going to bed for their children that results in fewer bedtime fights and more sleep for their Kids?
10 THINGS TO DO AS PART OF YOUR CHILD’S BEDTIME ROUTINE
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There are many different parts of a routine and the best thing to do is find what works specifically for your family in an order that makes the most sense.
PICK A BEDTIME AND STICK TO IT
If your kids know that bedtime comes at the same time every single night, they are less likely to be surprised and fight it.
TURN OFF THE SCREENS
It is a good idea to keep the screens off at least 1 hour before the set bedtime. Screens can increase stimulation, and therefore make it hard for your children to fall asleep. Instead, encourage gentle play and wind down time in other ways.
SET THE MOOD
Turn the lights down low and have little to no noise to distract you from the routine. Practice deep breathing exercises, sing a soothing song together and make sure that your little one has all their favorite comfort items ready like blankets or stuffed animals.
There is nothing quite as relaxing as soaking in a warm tub. This will help to calm your little one.
READ A STORY
Sit together in a comfortable place and read a nice bedtime story to your child. Make it very clear how many stories you plan on reading and stick to that. No more “one more story please” begging if you set the ground rules from the start.
BATHROOM BREAKS BEFORE BED
When your child brushes their teeth, it is a good time to encourage them to use the bathroom before the bedtime routine gets underway. Interruptions and excuses to get out of bed after the lights have been turned off, only wake your little one up more.
STICK WITH IT
No excuses, once you put the routine in place, you can’t expect it to work if you don’t stick with it.
WRITE IT DOWN
When your little one is old enough to help check things off, it can be beneficial to write down the bedtime routine on a whiteboard and have your little one check off the tasks with a whiteboard marker as they go. Once the last task of “lights out” is complete, they know very well that it is time for sleep.
SPEAK IN A SOOTHING VOICE
Don’t get elevated or your child will too. Speak in a calm and soothing voice to your little one, so that they are aware that it is quiet time.
BEDTIME PRAYERS & SAYING I LOVE YOU
Saying a bedtime prayer is a good way to end the day, whether it is a recited prayer that you say, or something a little different each night, the child will know that it is part of the bedtime routine. If you are unsure where to start, pick up a prayer book or devotional book specifically for children. After the prayer, say I love you before you turn off the lights and close the door.
There are many different things you can incorporate into your bedtime routine, just make sure they are calming and allow your child to relax.
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