Bedtime – parents love it, kids tend to dislike it. Creating a routine that works for your family can be challenging. Using these tips, you can (hopefully) develop a routine that makes life a little easier for everyone.
Select a time and stick to it
Once your child gets in the habit of going to bed at the same time (despite the unavoidable protests), their body will naturally adjust to the routine.
Send a signal
Your child may be too young to understand the concept of time, so saying “five more minutes” is likely not understood. Instead, create a signal such as running the bath water, putting away toys or picking out pajamas to signify that it’s almost time for bed.
Pro tip: To send a literal signal, pickup this alarm clock and night-light from Miari that turns yellow when it’s time to sleep and green when it’s okay to wake up.
Cut off electronics
TV, tablets, handheld games and other electronics stimulate our minds and senses. Having a cut off time for electronics gives your child time to mentally wind down.
Give your child a warm bath
Baths help relax your child mentally and physically. The warm water relaxes muscles and helps them feel naturally sleepy.
Get ready for bed
Since they are already in the bathroom, now is the time to have your child brush their teeth, floss and take care of any other items. Keeping this time quiet and calm will help them stay relaxed.
Read a bedtime story
This trick is great because it provides comfort and helps them develop an interest in learning to read. Have them sound out unfamiliar words and even read to you.
Designate a bedtime pal
Whether it’s a stuffed animal or doll, give your child a toy to fall asleep with each night.
Keep “goodnights” short
This may sound a bit harsh, but kids are great at conditioning parents to come running whenever they call. When you are ready, say “goodnight “and try not to come back in. This will teach your child that bedtime isn’t just a game.
Creating a routine sounds simple enough, but getting your child to follow it requires time, patience, and consistency. If you have multiple children, consider implementing a bedtime “party” in which everyone gets ready together. Older children don’t necessarily have to go to bed right then and there, but they will begin to wind down and may even fall asleep early.
What are your tips and tricks for bedtime or even nap time routines? Share them with fellow parents below.