Do you have trouble getting your child to bed at night? Do they always have excuses for delaying bedtime? If so, it may be time to create (or enforce a previously created) bedtime routine. A bedtime routine can help children know what is expected of them and help them relax before going to sleep.
In this post, we will outline a few steps that you can implement to create a bedtime routine that will help your children quiet down at the same time every night and bring peace to the house so that you can have a little time to wind down before parent bedtime!
Bedtime routines for little kids can be a bit of a juggling act for parents. There's the challenge of getting them to bathe, brush their teeth, and put on their pajamas. Then there's the bedtime story (preceded by indecision about what the bedtime story will be), followed by some quality snuggle time, followed by last minute needs for drinks of water. But ultimately, the goal is to create a peaceful atmosphere that will help your child wind down and fall asleep with consistency.
Here are a few of our (self tested!) tips to create a bedtime routine that will lead to sweet dreams for your little one.
First, create a cozy and inviting space in their room. Make sure their bed is comfortable and add any special touches that will help them feel relaxed when it is time for bed, like all of their favorite stuffed animals and blankets. Also, pay attention to the temperature of their room. Some kids sleep more soundly when they are cold, and some like a higher temperature and lighter clothes and blankets.
Then, decide what time you would like your child to go to bed (or at least to their rooms, if not directly to bed). This will be the time that you start the bedtime routine. Give kids a 30 minute warning before it's time to start the bedtime routine steps. Try to be consistent with the bedtime routine and start it at the same time each night. Consistency helps to signal to the body that it is close to bedtime and to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Establish a calming bedtime routine that they can follow. This might include turning off the TV and other screens right before dinner, and then reading together (or independently for older kids), singing lullabies, or playing with quiet toys in bed. Whatever you choose, as long as you create a repeatable, peaceful bedtime routine, you can help your child wind down and get the restful sleep they need. And restful sleep will beget more restful sleep. Each successive night that you can execute a good bedtime routine will make the next night easier.
Next, create and post a visual (either pictures or words) list of sleep routine activities in your child's room so that they know what to expect. Lists create predictability, and when kids know what is coming next, there are fewer struggles all around, bedtime included. The list might include brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, reading a book, turning out big lights and turning on reading lights, and finally turning out reading lights. Seeing the tasks laid out clearly can help your child feel more in control and relaxed, making it easier to drift off into deep sleep. And you'll both wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead!A bedtime routine is important for kids of all ages (and let's admit it, moms too), but especially young children. Establishing a set sequence of events that happens every night will help your child know what to expect and feel more relaxed as they drift off to sleep. Kelsey has shared some tips on how to create a successful bedtime routine for your little one – why not try implementing them tonight? And be sure to subscribe to our email list so you never miss another post from Kelsey!