For most adults, going to bed is a time of relaxing, unwinding and putting your feet up at the end of a long day. For many infants and toddlers, however, bedtime is often seen as an end to their fun. Some children may even feel isolated from their parents at bedtime, creating a separation anxiety that can deter them from falling asleep easily.
Luckily, there are ways to ease your child into bedtime, making it easier for you, and more pleasant for them to turn in for the night.
Here are 5 helpful tips for handling bedtime:
- Set Reminders
Children often feel caught off guard when bedtime comes around, which will prompt opposition from the start. Gently reminding them that bedtime is in 5 or 10 minutes, will remove the shock that bedtime is coming, helping to start off their routine on a good note.
- Establish A Routine
The structure of a nightly bedtime routine helps your child associate good feelings with being sleepy. Having a set routine can not only alleviate the stress of bedtime for you and your child, but can create special bonding time. No routine is right for everyone, but every routine should include the things your child needs before going to sleep. This process may include: brushing of teeth, putting on pajamas, having a bedtime snack, bedtime stories and bathtime.
- Create the Proper Sleep Environment
Your child’s bedroom should be a welcoming environment and be suited to their needs. If your child doesn’t like sleeping in a completely dark room, accommodate them with a small nightlight or hallway light. The room should also be warm, not hot, and the house quiet enough to create a peaceful sleep.
- Expect The Unexpected
Children will often try to prolong their routine and eventual bedtime. Whether it is asking for another story, a glass of water, even a hug or kiss, be sure to keep these requests in mind while performing a bedtime routine, and know how to jump these hurdles even before they are presented to you.
- Stick To The Routine
While it is important to accommodate your child’s need when putting them to sleep, you have to make sure you are firm when following the routine. During this process your child needs to understand it is time to go to sleep. Your great bonding experience can still happen during the bedtime routine, just make sure you are consistently following your schedule.
Bedtime doesn’t have to be a nightly struggle between you and your children. Take these tips to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone!
Do you have any tips or tricks you follow to make handling bedtime easier? Share them in the comments below!