How To Make Bedtime Routines Just As Fun For The Parent

As an adult, you may not understand why a child doesn’t want to sleep; it’s a peaceful act with huge benefits when you wake up. But getting kids to sleep can be a hassle. Keep in mind that sleep is essential for a child’s development, but they don’t know that. 

You may find that the child doesn’t know how to communicate that they are sleepy or fully comprehend that they need sleep. They will rather walk around, whine, and become irritable for no reason. As an adult, you may understand that they need rest, but they won’t see it that way; that can be frustrating.

Sleep behavior issues can manifest in several ways, including avoiding getting into bed, refusing to stay in bed, waking up at odd hours, and waking up early. Bad sleep behavior can start out of the blue or be triggered by a significant life event like moving houses, family upsets, or starting school. Without sufficient sleep, a child may suffer from overactivity, poor behavior, sluggish performance, and lack of concentration at school.

Having good sleep habits is essential for your child’s well-being and sanity. If you are struggling to get your child to sleep, you understand that it can lead to less sleep and rest for you too. Fortunately, you can do a few things about it and make sleep time something to look forward to.

What Bedtime Is Made Of 

Bedtime encompasses a specific time and activities that you do just before sleep. Remember, they haven’t been around for long, so they don’t know much. As an adult, you know when you are tired, you need to rest to feel better; sadly, kids don’t have the same understanding. They may even equate sleeping with missing out on life and time with you.

Taking control of the bedtime and creating a routine will benefit you and the baby. The routine will be a time they spend with you to achieve the ultimate goal, sleep. Part of the routine should include hygienic activities; these are the good habits you want your child to adopt early. 

A short, simple bedtime routine like brushing teeth, reading a book, putting away essentials for the day or items that they use regularly, like a pair of glasses for kids, and going to bed is ideal. But you may have to switch it up depending on your child’s interests and age. 

Some may prefer to hear you sing, tell you about their day, or pray before bed. As they grow older, they might want to exert more independence, so you can let them dress themselves or go through the entire routine on their own.

Positive Associations 

You may have an infant, toddler, kindergartner, or preteen, but the importance of a sleep routine will remain the same. There are a lot of tactics and strategies you can use, but they all have a common theme, a sleep routine.

A bedtime routine is what you do before your child goes to sleep. It includes taking a bath, the last diaper change, putting on pajamas, and reading a bedtime story. Ideally, you want your child to recognize the cues and eventually sleep by themselves. The bedtime routine shouldn’t require the child to fall asleep by the TV, being rocked to sleep, or having you lay by them. 

The ability to sleep by themselves will be crucial if they wake up in the middle of the night because they will be able to sleep by themselves instead of requiring your help. For example, if your child needs to be rocked to fall asleep, they will need you to rock them back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night.

A bedtime routine may differ from child to child. It may also vary as they age. But there are some things you should always keep in mind when planning a bedtime routine.

Start Early

Have a bedtime routine established when they are still at the infant stage. It will become habitual and make it easier to put them to bed as they grow older.

Nip In The Bud

Don’t assume that bad sleeping habits will fade with time. In fact, they may become more entrenched and harder to solve as the child gets older.

Consistency

Ensure that the routine is consistent. It always starts and ends at the same time and involves the same activities in the same order.

Dental Care

Include dental hygiene as part of the routine. It will be a good habit to keep your teeth healthy and your bank account in the long run.

Bathroom First

Remind your kids to use the bathroom before sleep, especially if they are still bedwetting.

Shorter Is Better

Try to keep the routine as short as possible. If it doesn’t include a bath, it should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Set Boundaries 

Set boundaries and be consistent at all times. Don’t let your child try to drag out the routine. They are adept at slowing things down by being uncooperative, extending reading time, or asking for more snacks and drinks.

Avoid Caffeine

Avoid giving your child caffeine before bedtime. Caffeine is present in many foodstuffs, including soda, chocolates, and chocolate-flavored ice cream.

Relinquish Some Control

Let your child have some input in the routine. They may not be able to choose the time or activity, but you can give them a choice in the pajamas they want to wear, the stuffed animal they want to sleep with, or the book they want to read.

Giving them options gives them some control over the routine, which is important when you have strong-willed children.

Incorporate Night Lighting

You can give them a cool night light to use in their room. Too much light makes it hard to sleep, and it becomes scary if it’s too dark. Try to keep the room dim so that your child can slip into sleep and it won’t be scary. They will get more excited about bedtime because it’s the only time they see the cool toy in action.

Bedside Security

For children older than a year, you can give them a security item to take to sleep. The security item can be a blanket or stuffed animal.

Low Stimulation 

Avoid stimulating activities like playing video games or watching TV 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.

Make Sleep Fun

Sleep doesn’t need to be a torrid time for you and your child. Think about it as a fun time you can have with your child. Establish a consistent routine you can go through with your child that both of you will enjoy.

Your efforts won’t go unnoticed; they will create pleasant memories they will appreciate as they grow older.

Frances
Frances
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