How to Get Your Kid to Sleep Hints and Tips
Bedtime can be a nightly challenge for parents of children of all ages. It's that time of year when parents want nothing more than for their children to sleep and when children seem to have an unexpected burst of energy. To avoid falling asleep, they suddenly want to read every book, play with every toy, and ask every question possible.
That's why it's important to start your child on a calming bedtime routine as soon as possible. Children are easily stimulated and constantly on the move, so a consistent, calming bedtime routine can help them wind down and prepare for a good night's sleep.
Children go through developmental stages in which their needs, desires, and experiences change. A regular bedtime routine for your child can help to ease these transitions and provide them with something familiar to rely on.
How to Get Your Child to Sleep
First and foremost, be consistent. The most important aspect of the bedtime routine is consistency, which you should establish early on.
The National Sleep Foundation states that the actions you take before putting your children to bed have a significant impact on the quality of their sleep. Whether you read a book or sing a lullaby, a consistent set of steps before bedtime signals to your child's brain that it's time to sleep. Furthermore, knowing what's coming next allows your child to relax more easily.
Developing a consistent nighttime routine can also assist you in relaxing, making bedtime more enjoyable for everyone. You can spend that special time bonding as a family when both parents and children are at ease.
It's also important to remember that how much and how well your child sleeps influences how they handle (or don't handle) their emotions. Children who are not well rested may become irritable or hyperactive, and chronic sleep deprivation may result in behavioral issues that affect your child at home or at school.
Infant Bedtime Routine Suggestions
Begin bedtime with a bath. Taking a warm bath before bedtime is one of the simplest ways to help your baby relax and unwind.
Dress your baby in warm pajamas and swaddle them up after bath time to help protect against the natural startle reflex, which frequently wakes infants at night.
Feed your child. Filling your baby's stomach is one of the simplest ways to put an infant to sleep. Babies who are tired may even fall asleep while feeding. Of course, depending on your baby's age, he or she will most likely wake up for at least one more feeding during the night.
Use feeding time to rock and cuddle your child. These moments with your infant are priceless, but they are also important for bonding and making your baby feel more secure before bedtime.
Preschooler Bedtime Routine
Begin the process of getting your child clean and ready for bed 45 minutes to an hour before they need to sleep. Draw a warm bath, lay out clean pajamas, brush their teeth, and slather on some soothing lotion, for example.
Allow your child to assist in selecting their pajamas for the night. Giving them a little independence can also help them feel more in control of their toddler bedtime routine.
Make your preschooler's environment relaxing. To help block out any noises that might distract your toddler from bedtime, dim the lights and turn on quiet music or a sound machine.
Spend a few minutes rocking or snuggling your toddler about 10 to 15 minutes before bedtime. If they have a favorite security object, such as a plush or lovie, now is the time to give it to them.
Bedtime Routine for Children
A bedtime routine does not begin with bedtime; it concludes with bedtime. So, start about an hour and 15 minutes before your actual bedtime. This is entirely dependent on how quickly your child can calm down and enter the mental state required to sleep soundly. It can also be influenced by your child's day: If the day has been particularly eventful, you may require more time to prepare your child for bed; if the day has been slow and simple, you may not require as much runway.
Bedtime is an excellent time to instill good hygiene habits in older children. Begin with a shower or bath, followed by brushing your child's teeth and combing their hair.
Big kids, too, require soft and cozy pajamas. As a result, ensure that they have something comfortable to wear to bed.
Spend some time reading together about 15 to 30 minutes before bedtime, or encourage your child to read quietly in their bed before lights out. (This is also a good time to attend to the "one last thing" that kids always want before bed, such as a cup of cold water, a hug, or a trip to the bathroom.)
Additional Tips and Things to Help Your Child Sleep
There's a reason it's called a bedtime routine. The bedtime routine is essential to healthy sleep and should be followed on a daily basis, even on weekends (with rare exceptions). When you make sleep a family priority by sticking to regular bedtimes and wake-up times, you'll ensure your children get enough sleep while also ensuring they fall asleep quickly, wake up easily, and stay awake all day.
If your partner or spouse is involved in the routine, make sure you're all on the same page about a sleep strategy for your child ahead of time so you can approach bedtime in a consistent, united manner. Allow your child to join the team by explaining how it works and encouraging them to take part.
Most importantly, if you notice your child has sleep issues, such as difficulty falling asleep, despite having a consistent bedtime routine, consult with your pediatrician.
There are dozens of potential methods for getting your child to sleep without a fuss. The key is to find the one that works best for you and your child.