If you’re a parent, you’re familiar with the nightly challenge of getting your kids to go to bed, and stay there. I know it’s not easy, but you have to know it’s for their own good. Kids must get enough sleep. Otherwise, they’ll have a hard time controlling their emotions. You know how irritable and hyper kids can be when tired.
A good bedtime routine can make evenings less stressful and more fun for you and your little ones. I know, it’s easier said than done, but if you instill a routine in them at a young age, they’ll know what to expect. Setting and maintaining good sleep habits it’s very important. It helps your child fall asleep, stay asleep, and awake rested and refreshed.
Now, let’s forget about the “just ten more minutes” plea, and apply these 5 tips for a healthier bedtime routine:
Make a plan and set a bedtime. Don’t take into consideration that it is weekend or a week day because it shouldn’t matter. The bedtime must remain the same. By being consistent they’ll know what to expect every evening.
Set a routine before getting into bed, and stick to it every day. Our routine includes a bath, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas and reading. Let your kids say goodnight to the family members (including your pet) before getting into bed.
For a healthy sleep, your little ones must start the process of winding down their body and brain before getting into bed. They can do that by respecting some rules before bedtime, like no TV, no iPod, no chocolate, and no hard play.
A good way of winding down is by reading a book or having a conversation. I find it helpful to have a quiet conversation with my son about his day with the lights out.
You don’t have to go through this routine alone. When you set a routine, both parents need to be on the same page. So talk to your husband and stick to the plan.
If the sleep routine is something new for your kids, make them a part of your team. If they’re old enough to understand, explain them the plan. For younger kids, a picture chart is a great way to learn a new routine, using pictures so they can understand easier.
If you’re still hearing the endless plea “Five more minutes, please!” your kids are trying to prolong the bedtime routine. Whether they ask for a hug, water, or want to go to the toilet, they will try anything. The trick is to stay firm, and don’t give in. Let your kid know that once they are in bed, they stay in bed.
If your kids are older and have their own TV in their room, this may prove a little tricky. Be sure they know that after the lights go out, they need to go to sleep. Reading with the help of a torchlight or watching TV are not allowed.
If your kids will follow the same routine every evening, falling asleep will become an easy thing to do.