Most parents are all too familiar with the fact that helping an active young child settle down for bed is rarely an easy task. The good news is that there are many ways to help an excitable child settle down to a good night’s sleep. Check out these seven tips to help your children sleep better if you’re tired of wrestling with your tireless tykes.
Consider allergy-friendly bedding
Some mattresses contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or come from factories that use irritating chemicals during manufacturing. Many parents aren’t aware that these materials could irritate their children’s lungs and make it more challenging for them to relax and fall asleep.
If you’re concerned that irritants in your child’s mattress prevent restful sleep, consider investing in allergen-friendly beds or bedding materials such as the Essentia Organic Mattress.
Establish a no-screen rule before bed
When it comes to helping your child access rejuvenating sleep, screentime is a parent’s worst enemy. While many parents have differing views on the appropriateness of screentime, one fact is universally true: too much screentime before bed will interrupt healthy sleep for both children and adults.
If you let your child watch a screen too close to bedtime, it can prevent them from falling asleep. Cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices emit blue light, disrupting the body’s melatonin production. Since melatonin helps children and adults become sleepy and stay asleep, disrupted melatonin production is a part of a recipe for disaster near bedtime. Consider stopping screen use up to an hour before bedtime to help your kids get some more restful zzzs.
Give your child some control over their bedtime routine
While most children can’t be held responsible for developing their bedtime routine, a little agency goes a long way when getting a child excited about bedtime.
For example, let your child choose which pajamas they want to wear, what relaxing music they’d like to listen to, or what bedtime story they’d like you to read to them. Allowing your child to have a say in their bedtime routine will help you establish positive feelings surrounding bedtime, leading to less resistance and fuss.
Create a relaxing space in your child’s bedroom
Creating a soothing, warm, relaxing environment where your child sleeps by filling the space with their favorite toys, comfortable pillows, and warm blankets will help your kids associate their bedroom with sleep.
Consider sticking plastic glow-in-the-dark stars and moons on your ceiling or buying a rotating night light for some added fun. Several nightlights have Bluetooth capability, so you can create relaxing playlists to play from your phone or tablet.
Make bathtime part of your bedtime routine
The first step to a relaxing bedtime routine could be a warm bubble bath. Like how your child can choose their pajamas, bedding, and stuffed animal for bed, you can let your child choose which bath toys or bubble bath they use. Feeling clean and relaxed will send signals to your child’s brain that it’s time for sleep.
Shake all the sillies out before bedtime
If bedtime is full of giggles and jitters, your children may have difficulty releasing pent-up energy before bed. Try setting aside time to shake out their silly feelings before moving into the bedtime routine. For example, consider having a short dance party with your child, accompanied by silly songs and dance moves. Slowly transition towards softer and gentler songs to signal your child that it’s time to calm down.
If you’re not sure where to start, plenty of sing-along videos and children’s concerts are available online that follow this formula.
Enjoy a small bedtime snack
Since a child may struggle to relax for bed if hungry, consider giving them a small bedtime snack or drink before they head to sleep. Of course, avoid going overboard when offering a bedtime snack so as not to disrupt sleep or digestion. A cup of yogurt or a small piece of whole-grain toast should do the trick.
Before you doze off
If you can’t wait to head to bed yourself, a drawn-out and arduous bedtime routine can feel nothing short of exhausting. Luckily, with the right tactics on your side, you’ll be saying “sweet dreams” to your kids in no time.