One of the biggest struggles of being a parent is getting your kids to bed, and doing it on time. Pretty much every parent has to address these concerns at one point or another when raising a child, and the challenge can be different depending on the age of the child, or how many children you may have. Children require more sleep than adults do, but for some reason tend to resist it more than any other age group. If kids don’t get enough sleep, not only do they suffer but everyone in the household tends to suffer. In order to avoid that, here are a few tips that might help make bedtime less of a nightmare.
Start A Routine
One of the best ways to make bedtime less stressful for both the child and the parents is to start a nightly routine. Having structure does great things for children, as it gives them a feeling of security. Kids work great on what they know and sometimes have a fear of the unknown. You may want to start by ending screen time 30 minutes or an hour before they lay down for bed, or by dimming the lights around the house as a way of showing them the day is nearly over. Typical bedtime routines tend to include taking a bath and putting on pajamas, followed by brushing their teeth. Many parents choose to then sit with their children while they lay in bed, possibly reading them a story or listening to music with them. These routines can work wonders and can be adjusted based on what works best for each family.
Avoid Food and Caffeine Before Bedtime
Avoiding food and drink intake right before bed is another great tactic to help make bedtime easier. Some parents choose to let their children have a soda, which is fine, but it’s all about when they choose to do this. It may be fine to give them a soda right after school, but try to avoid giving them anything caffeinated or sugary anywhere within 3 hours of when you put them to bed. It’s also smart to avoid heavy meals right before bed. If your child is hungry right before bedtime, give them something light such as crackers or fresh fruit.
A very important aspect of helping your child sleep is making sure they’re in the appropriate environment. This can include your child’s bedroom but also involve your entire household. Their room should be quiet and dark, but it can also be a good idea to get a nightlight or some sort of dim light for comfort, as many young children appreciate that. You’ll also want to make sure the rest of the house stays relatively quiet, as well as not having any bright lights on directly outside their room in order to give them a feeling of everyone being in bed, even if you’re not. It can be a great idea to get some sort of noise machine to drown out any other noises in the house while also providing some sort of constant white noise. This can be a speaker that produces peaceful sounds, like rain or the sound of the ocean, or perhaps something as simple as a fan.