One of the hardest things for me personally is getting the kiddos to bed. It was hard with one and ridiculous with two! But with these tips found from Cleveland Clinic and my Pediatrician, I was able to get bed time in order.
Getting the Kids to Bed
While this works for me and my family, may not work or be right for your family. That is OK! It just matters that we all get some much-needed sleep. Try one or all of these tips to help your little ones (and not so little ones!) to sleep.
Routine is Key
In my mind the most important tip of the list is ROUTINE. I never change it. It is the same every night. It starts at the same time. It includes the same steps. No, ifs, ands, or buts. This works because your child will know what to expect each night. There may be a struggle at the beginning, but you may find that after a few days (or for more stubborn kids, a few weeks) that they will have adjusted to the set routine.
With my first there was a much more elaborate routine and as a young child and not so much as they grew up. My youngest has a simple routine and it works for them.
The most important thing is to keep everything the same every night. For example: Bath, Brush Teeth, Book, Bed is a good routine for younger children. Start it at least an hour before bedtime.
They know what to expect and if you do this consistently your child may not fight you so much.
Preparation is a Must
Make sure you have everything set out before you start the routine. For example: towel, lotion, diaper, and PJs for after bath. Toothbrush / Paste to clean their teeth. A few books to pick from for story time. It will save you time and sanity.
Timing Needs to Stay Constant
Kids NEED a regular bed time and wake time. Even on the weekends. Keep it the same every day. It is better for their emotional and physical health. Now I am not telling you what time that is, each child is different. For instance, my oldest actually needs more sleep than my youngest and therefore goes to bed sooner. Just make sure they your child is getting enough sleep to make it through the day!
Keep the Temps Down
Make sure to lower the heat down at night, everyone (even you!) sleeps better in cooler temps. If you have younger children who cannot keep thier covers on, make sure they are dressed appropriately to sleep without covers.
A Small Light is OK
If your child is scared of the dark, make sure they have a nightlight. I have the Cloud B Tranquil Turtle. It makes blue starts on the ceiling and has waves or music too. My kids both love it, but it may not work for yours. We went through a few other options before settling on the turtle. Some other awesome options (affiliate links) are listed below.
Bubzi Co White Noise Sound Machine & Sleep Aid Night Light
Summer Infant Slumber Buddies Projection and Melodies Soother
Truthfully, the white noise machine also helps me get to sleep! You may find you like it too.
Keep The Noise Level Down
By this I mean running around the house screaming, cleaning the house, or other ways to make too much noise. I am not saying do not make any noise. Just do not have a party! Bed time should be considered quiet time, so you should respect that and keep it down. After the kids are in bed, it is your time to get things done, but you also need to unwind.
Let Them Have a Comfort Item
Younger children may still feel attached to a blanket or stuffed animal. Make sure they have those items for bed. That way they feel secure when they head to dreamland.
actually recommend that you have two (or three) of the same item. That way you can wash it when you need to. Or if the item is ever lost you do not have to panic, you have a backup all ready to go.
Try a Dream Machine
My kids absolutely adore a noise machine. It helps them relax and stay asleep longer. Everyone is different but we like a fan noise, rain, or waves. Basically, white noise. Our favorite is this one White Noise Machine
Limit After School Activities
Doing too much before bed can wreak havoc on a kids sleep schedule. That is because they can have sports and homework almost every night. This pushes dinner and bed times later. Cutting out as much as you can during the week would be ideal. I know this one is a BIG ask, but allowing one afterschool activity a few times of week may work better for your schedule and your child’s sleep schedule.
One Last Request
Don’t give up! Do what works for your family and know that eventually they will sleep.
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