How to Better Your Child’s Bedtime
Bad time vs bedtime? The everyday challenge to get your kids to go to sleep and stay in bed is something many parents face. Although this is no simple task, it is one of the most important things you can do for a growing child.
When children lack a sufficient amount of sleep, they have a harder time controlling their emotions and behavior.
Poor sleep will also influence mental and physical development, such as trouble paying attention, retaining memories, learning new things, as well as higher risks for overweight and long-term sleep issues.
So although bedtime can often be a headache, it’s essential to do all you can to support your child get the sleep they need and sleep that those tiny bodies require.
When you deploy and uphold positive sleep habits, your child will fall asleep with more ease, staying asleep longer, and the waking well rested and refreshed.
There are no hard-and-fast guidelines for bedtime as each child and family are uniquely different.
Look at this infographic and then we go into details:
Here are some stress-free ways to get started:
1. Make sleep a priority for the family.
Set regular go-to-bed and wake-up times for the entire family and be sure to follow them (even loosely on weekends and holidays)
Tip: You can tell that children are getting enough sleep when they fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes after crawling into bed.
2. Work as a team
It’s important to talk and agree on the sleep/nap strategy for your child with your spouse, family, your nanny, and daycare. Consistency is key. You can’t expect your kids to learn or change their sleep behaviors without it.
Tip: Make sure nap times and bedtime quirks are discussed. Agree beforehand on strategies for sleep success.
3. Familiarity and Routine.
Kids love it, they thrive on consistency, and it works. A consistent evening pattern will help a child understand how to become sleepy and develop a rhythm that could last a lifetime. Revisiting familiar patterns each night can onset feelings of relaxation preparing the body and unwinding the mind.
Tip: No one routine will be right for every family or child. Generally speaking, a nightly method should include all the tasks that your child needs to achieve before going to sleep, including brushing teeth, washing up, getting on pajamas, picking out clothes for tomorrow, and having a snack or drink of water. Regardless of your specific routine, successful ones should be kept short in their overall duration (30 minutes or less – not including the bath) and when it is time for lights out, be firm about it.
4. Bedtime Snacks.
Children might need more than three meals a day to keep them growing.
Tip: A list of healthy options for nighttime snacks can be found here. Avoid heavy meals too late; sometimes a full stomach (including digestion) will interfere with sleep.
Most of us sleep better in a room that is cool but not cold. The body temperature will naturally drop to enter more in-depth and more restorative stages of sleep.
Tip: Dress your child basically as you dress yourself, resist over bundling them. Keep in mind that infants and toddlers often kick their blankets off at night and can’t cover themselves back up.
6. Sleep Environment.
Before bedtime make sure the bedroom is cool, quiet and dark. A bedroom should be a comfortable sanctuary. The noise level in the home should be low.
Tip: Too many toys in the bedroom can present a distraction that steals from sleep. If your child does not like a completely dark or quiet room; consider things like night-lights, white noise, or soothing music. Once your child outgrows the crib, invest in other quality sleep essentials (mattress, pillows, bedding) that will last them while providing a lifetime of breathability and physical support.
Bedtime can be a struggle or it can be easy. It is all up to you. Learn the necessary skills and as a result, it will guide you on how to approach it the right way and build up an excellent routine.
Finally, the good thing is that you have to do it only once because it can last.
If we missed anything please leave a comment below!