There’s probably not a parent around who hasn’t struggled with some aspect of their child’s bedtime. You want them (and you!) to get enough rest, but whether it’s your child’s third request for just one more story or climbing into your bed in the middle of the night, this goal can seem impossible. Getting enough rest will help your child’s development and behavior, so it’s an important part of their overall health.
Related Blog: Develop a Nightly Routine to Help You Sleep Better
Establish a good nightly routine by following these tips:
Make Sure Bedtime Isn’t Too Late
You may think that if your child gets very tired, it will be easier for them to sleep. Often, the opposite is true. A child who’s exhausted may be fussy and find it hard to calm down enough to easily fall asleep. Even adults can have trouble transitioning from being very active to getting ready to sleep, and this is certainly true of kids.
Spend time with your child before bed, establishing a nightly routine. For many families, this can include bath time as well as brushing teeth and reading a short book or two. The key is to keep it as consistent as possible, even on the weekends. Eventually, the routine itself will help signal the end of the day and help your child wind down.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Studies show that a cool room is most conducive to a good night’s sleep. It should also be quiet and dark, but if your child is more comfortable with a nightlight, there’s nothing wrong with letting them have one. A good-quality mattress and bedding will also help, as will a comforting object such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
Kids are good at making their parents feel guilty as they pop out of bed repeatedly for attention. Be firm, and stick to the routine. If your child gets up, don’t negotiate – just take them back to bed. If they’re looking for attention, giving in or getting upset will give them an incentive to keep getting up, night after night.
Bedtime doesn’t have to be a stressful chore. A nightly routine can help your child get the sleep he or she needs to thrive and make evenings more restful for the entire family.