It never seems like an easy feat to get your children to get and stay in bed. It does not seem to matter how many activities, how full the day has been, or how exhausted they are when it is bedtime, they just want to keep going. Here are some tips on how to make kids go to sleep easily.
Looking at it from their perspective, your little ones know that you and maybe some older siblings are not going right to bed when they are. They probably feel left out and imagine that something fun or exciting is happening and they are not privy to it. They think about TV shows you are watching, and snacks you are enjoying. The end result is a very cranky kid!
You are no doubt feeling weary and defeated as a parent, but I have a few tips that can help you develop a successful and easy bedtime routine that will get the kids to bed on time. These helpful hints will eliminate the drama and chaos of getting the kids to bed. Trust me, I know how you feel so I will share with you the things I found to make bedtime much easier in my household!
Routines help us stay on track and organized to get things done consistently throughout the days and weeks. Most of us have a morning time routine that consists of a shower, and breakfast, and we are usually out the door at the same time every day to get to work. You might even have a favorite coffee shop to stop and get your daily dose of caffeine. There are a few dozen other things you are doing inside that particular routine like doing your makeup or shaving, packing a lunch, and so on.
Sometimes it is harder to establish an organized evening routine though. It is easy to extend established bedtimes for children, especially if you have a visitor or they have been extra good throughout the day. Sometimes we are just very exhausted from a bath and a story. When the routine fails, kids may often find it difficult to go to bed.
It is extremely important to set a bedtime routine. The younger your kids are when you establish the routine, the easier it is, but it is never too late. After you enjoy a delicious dinner, begin the process of relaxing. Switch off devices that emit blue lights including phones and TVs. Blue light increases alertness and has a tendency to over-stimulate kids. I know you are wondering what you will do without a mobile phone or TV. Do not worry, this is the best part. You should plan some family activities (discussed further below). Making them drink the milk also helps in getting them ready for bed. Then give them a nice, warm bath to send the signal that bedtime is not far away. Even if your kids get great joy from splashing and playing around in the bathtub, it is actually quite restful.
The final signal is sitting down to read a story. You should try to read the story in the kids’ room.
Playtime in the house
Most people, your kids included, do not want to go to bed right after dinner. Unfortunately, most adults want some relaxing time after dinner and most kids want to have fun outside. Be warned, games outdoors may be overstimulating. Once they are excited and having fun, it will take time for them to calm down. This will make it impossible to get to bed at a respectable time.
Instead, of sending them outside, try to come up with some activities that promote calming down and settling down. These include things they can do with their little hands. Make sure that these activities will not jack them up.
The atmosphere in the kids’ room
Bedtime starts to become easier and easier when you consistently have the same routine because your child knows what to expect and what is expected of them. Another trick that can make bedtime easier is to make the bedroom a sleeping sanctuary. Turn on a nightlight and put the toys in their rightful places.
Do not forget to have a few cuddly toys to snuggle with! When story time arrives, this is the atmosphere you want to be in so you can slowly lull the kid into sleeping. The environment becomes one that is familiar, cozy, relaxing, and ideal for sleep.
If you are a parent you are probably not above bribery! If you find it difficult to keep them in bed, use a sticker chart or a magnetic star chart. Offer a small but established reward if they stay in bed until breakfast time a few days in a row. If they can get a line of stickers at the end of the week, offer them a special breakfast or an extra 30 minutes of playtime!
Some people might consider this a hopeless method. Keep in mind that children love competitive games. It gives them a goal and a visual representation of reaching that goal.
If your kid is hyping up or goofing off before bedtime, you have to be careful. Kids are very smart and tricky. They want your attention and they might be testing their limits. They absolutely know what to do to improve their chances of getting to bed late.
If you do not engage in their behavior, you are sending the signal that it is not going to work! Sometimes the best approach is to be silent. If you ignore the tantrum or behavior they will eventually realize it is not getting the attention they thought it would and they will move on. If you combine this with the rewards method, they will immediately learn that it pays more to be well-behaved, go to bed on time, and stay in bed!
Hopefully, the tips and tricks given above make bedtime a little easier and more fun for you and your child. The key to success is staying consistent. If you can be consistent your child will be consistent, and as a result, your life will be a little easier, at least at bedtime! You can check out sleep blogs have to say for more sleep-related information.