Parents face bedtime struggles with their kids at one point or the other especially during infant and toddler stages. Children need more sleep than adults so when they don’t get enough sleep they may become cranky, irritable or hyperactive. This can cause a lot of strain on both parents and children and result into poor sleep for everybody. So how do you get your child to sleep and stay asleep for the right amount of time?
Here are five tips to help you learn how to win bedtime battles.
1. Set a bedtime/wake-up routine.
Getting your children into a bedtime routine will help them prepare their minds for bedtime every night. Give a relaxing bath right after dinner and have them wear their pajamas to set the sleep mood. Don’t forget to brush their teeth too! A bedtime story can then follow. Also set a time for them to wake up. This way their bodies can get used to bedtime and wake up time.
2. Create a sleep-friendly environment.
This is another way to help your child ease into bedtime. Dim the lights while you go through the bedtime routine. The combination of a warm bath and low lighting will help her feel relaxed and sleepy. You can also turn on soft music to provide a soothing and comforting atmosphere. Read a bedtime story to him while the music plays or just sing along with it and lull your baby to sleep.
3. Avoid giving certain foods right before bedtime.
There are certain foods that your kids should not eat before bedtime. Foods that contain caffeine such as tea, colas and dark chocolate should not be eaten close to bedtime. Sugar-filled treats like cookies, ice-cream and candy should also be avoided a couple of hours before bed.
4. Reduce after-school activities.
This doesn’t mean your child should not participate in extra-curricular activities but too many of them coupled with lots of homework can make bedtime really stressful.
5. Turn off all electronics.
Televisions, computers, games and other electronic devices, especially those in your child’s room should all be shut down an hour before bedtime. Leaving such devices on will keep her awake by distracting her and tricking her brain into thinking it’s still daytime.
Sleep-deprived children are more likely to develop behavioural problems and also have some trouble paying attention. Try to stick to the routines you create to make bedtime less stressful for you and your child.