Making kids go to bed is a challenge to almost every parent. But it is one of the most important things that need to be done for kids. Lack of sleep can make it harder for kids to control their emotions. When children don’t get enough sleep, they may become irritable or cranky. This even leads to behavioural problems and trouble paying attention while learning.
Following a regular bedtime routine, helps kids feel more relaxed and they are able to fall asleep more easily. If you haven’t created a bedtime routine for your toddler, it is a great time to establish one now. When parents follow an established pattern every night, kids will know what to expect. This helps the kids get sound as well as enough sleep that they need.
How to set a bedtime routine?
The important thing to establish a regular bedtime routine is to follow the same thing every night. This way, toddlers learn to associate a set of activities with bedtime. Whatever you include in the bedtime routine is up to you. But what you need to make sure is to choose activities that help calm your kid rather than excite him. Here are some sure shot ideas to end the every night’s bedtime battle with care.
Set regular bed timings:
Kids learn from parents. When you plan to develop a bedtime routine for your kids, you need to make sleep a priority for the whole family. Setting regular go-to-bed and wake-up times for the entire family and following them makes kids follow the same. These timings should be even followed on the weekends.
Treat the sleep troubles:
Kids who have sleep struggles show signs that include trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, snoring, resisting going to bed, breathing trouble during sleep. When kids don’t get enough sleep, parents may notice behaviour problems in daytime such as the kid being cranky, sleepy or feeling exhausted. If kids show any of these symptoms regularly, it’s time to seek medical help.
Kids need more than three meals a day. A hunger that strikes in the midnight can disturb the kid’s sleep. So, a small healthy snack before bedtime helps kids to stay fuelled all the night. Healthy bedtime snacks include whole-grain cereal with milk or a piece of fruit. A full stomach can interfere with sleep, so avoid large meals before getting kids to bed.
Make a habit of brushing teeth:
It’s always important to include brushing teeth in the kid’s bedtime routine. This way, we can prevent dental issues and teach kids to look after their teeth properly. Over time, this habit even helps to send signals to the body that it’s time to sleep.
Make time for a bath:
A bath before bedtime relaxes the kids and help to calm down. A warm bath gives a soothing experience and making your toddler clean is a great way to ease him/her into bedtime. If your kids don’t enjoy baths or if they make them too excited, it’s better to wash their face and hands instead of a bath.
Dress them for sleep:
If the toddlers are already potty-trained, ask them to use the toilet; if not change them into a fresh nappy. Dress your toddlers appropriately, according to the climate. Give them the freedom to choose a night dress out of two. Make sure to dress them so that they feel comfortable and clothes don’t disturb their sleep.
Set up a sleep environment:
Set the room temperature to be cool but not cold. Make your kid’s room dark and quiet with minimum light. Make sure to lower the noise level in the house so that kids don’t get disturbed during sleep. Giving your kids their favourite doll or teddy bear or blanket can provide a sense of security and comforts them before they fall asleep.
Read a bedtime story:
Kids love to spend time with parents. Reading a bedtime story can make them feel you care about them and this will even help them learn new words. Give your kid a choice of books each night and ask which one he/she wants you to read. Make silly voices or read in a low volume instead of making sounds that can excite them.
Last thing – say Goodnight:
Kids always please for one more things like hugs, a cup of water or one more story. Don’t let them take an advantage of these requests and simply ask them to go to sleep by saying good night. This way, you can let your kids know that they need to stay in bed once they get into bed. And if they get up after some time, simply get them back to the bed instead of arguing or requesting. If you react, you can grab their attention which delays their bedtime.