When it comes to bedtime, many parents struggle with the difficulty of putting their children to sleep. No matter how exhausted the parents are, the children always seem to have a never-ending supply of energy, becoming each parents’ recurring nightmare.
If the lucky stars are in your favor, your child have a timely bedtime once in a while, but this brings up another concern: how do you get them to sleep on time, on a regular basis?
Here are 5 ways to ensuring your bedtime nightmares are over and that your child is able to have a sweet night’s sleep:
1. Make a bedtime routine
Creating and sticking to a regular bedtime routine is crucial as it helps wind them down with a structured plan. For infants, this can be as simple as singing a bedtime song and cuddles. For toddlers and older children, you can ask for their input in creating the bedtime routine, and together compromise on how many books you may read together, or how many minutes of game time before bed. A typical bedtime routine could be:
- Putting on pajamas
- Brushing their teeth
- Story time
- Goodnight kisses
An actual bedtime routine promotes sleep and encourages the child to internalize the bedtime sequence. Each routine can be altered to fit each child’s individual needs, and is effective as long as the child and the parents are able to consistently follow through with it.
2. Create an ideal sleeping environment
Creating an ideal sleeping environment is important to getting your child to drifting to dream land in no time. Children tend to stay awake with bright lights and noise-filled rooms, so it is best to keep their sleeping space dark and quiet. If your child has a fear of the dark, you can check for monsters under the bed as part of your routine or even install child-friendly night lights.
3. Power down
While rewarding your child with a little screen time seems tempting, turning off all electronics during bed time removes all stimulating entertainment and allows their little brains to dial down. Electronics should be turned off or taken away at least an hour before bedtime. Do tell them not to worry, after all, the electronics will still be here in the morning.
4. Stay positive
Putting your child to sleep is no small feat, and it takes patience and a positive attitude. As opposed to having your child dread bedtime, have them look forward to your new bedtime routine. It is OK for children to struggle, as long as you are understanding and patient with their new bedtime routine adjustments. Your child needs your calm presence, and help along the way.
5. Be on the lookout
Whether it’s nightmares or a hard time sleeping, there are many possibilities as to while your child may have trouble sleeping through the night. If walking them back to their beds or checking under the bed for monsters don’t settle your concerns, it is best to consult your child’s pediatrician, or a sleep specialist to help determine why your child isn’t getting a good night’s sleep.
Overcome bedtime battles is not as easy as it seems, however if you follow these steps, bedtime doesn’t have to be the most difficult part of your day!