Beating the bedtime battle!
Updated: Apr 19
Sleep is one of the toughest issues every parent faces. There are many aspects that may cause problems in your routine. This can range from too hot or cold or maybe the room isn't dark enough which can make falling asleep and having to go to bed very difficult.
There are many factors that are important to get right when it comes to your little ones having a good night sleep and not waking up. Below are some steps to follow to improve your bed time routine and reduce sleep problems!
A good bedtime routine always starts with what you do prior. It is important to keep the children familiar with their routine day to day. Keeping track of their sleep cycle and how many hours of sleep they are getting can assist on when to start your bedtime routine. It also give you a better idea on when your child should be sleeping and waking up.
Dinner time is a big factor in keeping this at the same time every night. Giving time for family play before dinner lets the kids start to settle down when dinner time comes around.
So why is a bedtime routine important for your children? Studies show that a consistent bedtime routine improves sleep quality and helps their mental development.
The start of your routine
How long your bedtime routine should be is a question that most parents ask. This depends on the age of your child or children and how long they need to sleep according to their age and mental development.
Once you have worked out how long your child needs to sleep you can work out when to start your routine. For most parents it is around 4-5 pm. This is the ideal time to feed those little tummy’s to ensure they are full before bed time! This is also dependent on if your child still has a nap during the daytime.
It’s important to sit down as a family and eat dinner. This allows the family to spend time with one another and make the children have a sense of feeling and belonging.
This is also a good time to be teaching older children table manners and communication skills at the table! Studies have shown eating dinner with your family after a long day relieves stress and reduces tension and strain from being at work or in the office.
Bath time is important to start off relaxing with quiet play. If your children are encouraged to play like they do outside it is harder for them to relate bath time with their sleep time routine. Encouraging quiet relaxed play helps them start to feel sleepy and relaxed. This will start the production of melatonin which helps us sleep.
Another tip is bathing your children separately and encouraging reading with the other parent. Not bathing your children together will reduce the feel of “playtime” and make it more relaxing for them.
Tips for Bedtime Potty Training
It’s important to start cutting out liquids before bedtime, this will reduce the risk of a full bladder and bed wetting. Encouraging toilet time before bedtime is key to ensuring not as many accidents occur!
An important thing to remember is that accidents DO happen! Be prepared with spare sheets at the ready. Prepare the bed prior with a waterproof mattress protector and a double layer of sheets. This can prevent any damage to the mattress and allows for the mess to be easily taken care of with a quick change of the sheets.
Shut it off! Television or devices restrains the production of the sleepy hormone! Encourage your child with good sleep habits and to read books before bed. This makes falling asleep soothing and encourages going to bed.
This will also help shorten your bedtime routine by encouraging quite time. Some bedtime story tips would be to let your child pick three books of their choice. This encourages calmness and eliminates the request for more books or the argument of choosing the wrong book.
Once your children are reading their books it’s important to prepare the bedroom and home for sleep. Close the curtains to improve the darkness of the room.
Offering their security object such as a teddy or blanket will also encourage the child to feel safe and comfortable. The goal for a bedtime routine is relaxation, sleep will come naturally when your child is ready.
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