As a parent, you know that there is nothing as peaceful as a sleeping child. However, evenings can be challenging as tired children sometimes do whatever they can to stay awake longer. Here are seven handy tips for creating a smooth transition that will have your kids sleeping soundly in no time.
1. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Children thrive on routines and tend to do best when they know what is expected of them. Therefore, establishing a nighttime routine is one of the most effective ways to get your kid to sleep. Many parents swear by the bath, book and bed method. However, you can add your own personal elements as long as you make it the same routine every night.
2. Have a Set Bedtime
In addition to having a bedtime ritual, have your children go to sleep at the same time each night. Children are attuned to the natural cycles of daylight and can easily tell if it is bedtime long before they can read a clock. Having a set bedtime can also eliminate squabbles regarding those requests for just five more minutes.
3. Darken the Room
Children sleep best in a slightly darkened room. For rooms that are near bright outdoor lights, consider using shades to create a darker environment. If your child is afraid of the dark, install a nightlight that gives enough light to see while still providing a good environment for sleep.
4. Create a Comfy Bed
Children (and adults) love snuggling into a comfortable bed. Choose soft materials for your child’s bed coverings such as down comforters and pillows. Add a splash of personality by choosing a blanket in your child’s favorite color or theme so they will look forward to climbing into bed each night.
5. Nix the Excuses
If you are tired of your child getting out of bed every night, set up your bedtime routine to head off any excuses before they start. Be sure to offer them a glass of water, an opportunity to use the rest room, and even a light snack, if needed. This way, they will have no reason to climb out of bed and make one last request.
6. Let them sleep with a teddy bear or blanket
Bedtime can be lonely for children after you leave the room. Help make them feel more secure by offering a stuffed animal or favorite blanket. Let your children know they can feel your love every time they snuggle up to their lovie.
7. Stick to Your Plan
Although the first few nights of a new bedtime plan may be rough, it is important to stick to it. As mentioned earlier, children thrive on routines and need to know that you mean what you say when it comes to bedtime. Even if your child gets out of bed, remind them of the rules and help them get settled back in for the night.
By making bedtime comfortable and fun, your child will sleep more soundly and may begin going to bed without major struggles. Remember to create a comfortable environment that includes soft bedding, a darkened room and a stuffed animal to snuggle, and your child will transition to bed easily so they can fall asleep.