Five ways to end bedtime battles
Bedtime can be a quiet time for you and your child to enjoy special moments together. A fun but calming bedtime routine can ease the transition from active playtime to restful sleep. A bedtime routine also helps your child’s brain to learn how to recognise when it’s time to release sleep hormones and start the sleep cycle. The key is to find a routine that works for you, your family, and your lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Reading is a classic bedtime activity with good reason. Children have to sit quietly to listen. They might not hold still, but it’s an activity that requires they use concentration skills, which when you’re tired, can lead to sleep. Plus, reading together provides some extra cuddle time. Physical touch can be reassuring for children and, if your child is starting to get older, it can give you some snuggle time you might not get otherwise.
Listen to quiet music
Music has a powerful impact on attitude, behaviour, and mood. It can also be used as unofficial communication. Not sure what we mean? If you use the same songs in the same order each night, your child will begin to recognise the activity that goes along with the song. One song means pick up toys; the next, change into pyjamas and so on. Soothing, calm music played at a low volume will support this routine without getting your child over-excited.
Give them a warm bath
A warm bath taken 90 to 120 minutes before bed may help your child fall asleep faster. The bath raises body temperature, which, after the bath, the body tries to rapidly lower. A drop in body temperature also accompanies the onset of sleep, so the warm bath can trigger the sleep cycle. Bath-time can also be a fun time to bond with your child. You can use bubbles to make beards and moustaches or sing quiet songs about water and rain.
If your child becomes excited and overactive in the bath they may not find it relaxing. In this case, bath-time might work best in the morning or early evening.
Find that favourite comfort object
Many children experience separation anxiety or anxiety about being unable to fall asleep. While their fears may not seem real to you, they are to your child. A comfort object like a favourite stuffed animal or blanket can help your child feel safe and secure. Finding the object together can be a fun game of hide-and-seek before bed.
Check they are comfortable
Your child will sleep best in a comfortable sleep environment. A night light or door left slightly open may help. Also, check out their mattress. If it feels lumpy to you, it might not be comfortable for your child.
Take a look at Sleep Help’s ultimate guide to children’s sleep here for tips on choosing mattresses and bedding for youngsters. If you’re on a budget, there are also some handy tips for getting a good deal.
By Samantha Kent
About the Author
Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favourite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.
(Photo Credit: Baby Bath – 11 months by Abi Porter licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Guest Article: This article has been written by a guest editor and may contain links to external content and products which may not be approved by Fundamentally Children. Also, Fundamentally Children does not take any responsibility for any of the information or advice provided within this Guest Post and all opinions and advice are of the Guest Author, not Fundamentally Children
Tags: bedtime, sleep, sleeping problems
This post was written by Fundamentally Children