For most parents, their children’s bedtime can be the most important time of day, but it is not always easy! By that point, you are no doubt tired, your child is probably tired and being their most difficult, and all you want to do is settle them for sleep so you can go to sleep too. Parenting is not always easy.
Plus, there is all that research about sleep affecting their learning and development at the back of your mind, so this can definitely be a stressful time. It is difficult to know how much sleep kids need and to make sure that they are getting enough of it.
Planning For Bedtime
Having a bedtime routine and plan is essential to getting your child to sleep. You can create your very own bedtime plan with them where they can feel part of the process, to make them feel they have an element of control, and have a say in what is going on.
If they know exactly what is going to happen and when, they are also likely to feel much more safe and secure than they would without a plan.
Read A Bedtime Story
Having a bedtime story read to you is probably one of your most fond childhood memories. It is a great bonding experience for parents and relaxing for children. Dim the lights, maybe give them one of their favorite stuffed animals, and select a book. There are lots of books out there to choose from these days, so if you are not sure which one to go for, Happy Beds have collated a great list of bedtime books that are perfect for helping your child get to sleep at night.
Put Away Any Electronics
In this day in age, a lot of kids have iPads, iPhones, etc at a fairly young age. Although, you may want to allow your child to enjoy these at some point throughout the day, when going to sleep, it is important to prepare their brains for sleep and take away all of those distractions. Give their brain and body a break and make sure that all of their devices are turned off. Electronic devices cause reduced sleep quality, so it is important to limit their screen time as much as possible.
But Can I Have?
It is in a child’s nature to ask for one last thing. How many times have you heard, “but I am thirsty, can I have a drink”? Or “I am still hungry, can I get a snack”? Or sometimes even “Please, just one last story”? Be prepared to deal with these and make sure that you let your child know that once they are in bed, they have to stay in bed. Eventually they will realize that is part of the routine and limit their requests.
Hopefully, these tips will give you a very well rested child, who instead of dreading going to bed looks forward to it!