Every parent will attest to, at some point during their children’s lives, having problems getting them to bed. Tantrums, midnight wake-up calls, early mornings; there are a fair few issues that can result from a child receiving too little sleep, and these can have knock on effects, harming your child’s physical and intellectual development. Luckily however, there are a number of ways you can negate these bugaboos, instilling a healthy, positive bedtime routine for your child that will utterly transform your experience of bedtime!
Don’t wait until your child’s first yawn of the evening to set off on the road to bedtime. Young children will often feel hyperactive or grumpy when they are feeling tired thanks to the brain releasing wakeful hormones that serve to keep the body running during what the brain conceives as an incorrect time to go to sleep – if you were to spend your own time before bed in front of computer or smartphone screens you’d experience the same effect. As such, start an hour before the point at which you know your child is going to start feeling physically tired. This will also have the effect of setting a clear ‘deadline’ for your child’s bedtime.
A Comfy Bed
Part of the reason your child might not be sleeping well at night or fighting your efforts to put them to bed might stem from their beds being uncomfortable. If mattress springs are awry or if the duvet is flat or misshapen, there’s no need to be afraid of the potential costs; head online to a discounted retailer such as Bedstar. Internet stores are often far cheaper than their bricks-and-mortar brethren, and often run clearance sales that can really go a long way to reducing costs.
Take a Bath
Warm water and steam can effortlessly make the human body feel more relaxed and calm, so think about giving your child a bath for ten or fifteen minutes at the start of the routine. Let them know in advance that it’s going to happen, so as not to excite or surprise them, and pop bubbles and toys in and around the tub to make the bath more fun for the child and less of a chore. There’s lots of other ideas out there on the net too, if the above don’t strike a chord with your child.
Read a Story
As well as being a lovely bonding moment between you and your child, reading a story together in bed also helps wind down your child before sleep begins. Let your child pick which they’d like to hear from a selection of calmer, more serene stories, pop some calm music on and cuddle up in bed. You’ll find that your child is lulled into slumber slowly and gently, and soon enough you’ll have a calm, quiet evening all to yourself!
Disclaimer: Blog post written in collaboration with Parents, a prestigious and informative site aimed at every parent out there.