If your child seems to be as against bedtimes as you are getting up for work in the mornings, you’re probably looking for ways that you can encourage them to engage in healthy sleeping habits. Sleep is incredibly important no matter what our age, but as children are still growing and developing, then a good night’s sleep is all the more crucial.
Maybe your child becomes hyperactive before bedtime, or perhaps they become clingier and suddenly don’t want to leave your side. However they react when the lights go out, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your child has a better relationship with bedtime.
Most children fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed- but if your little one seems to be having some trouble, then here are some tips to help encourage your child to fall asleep more easily:
Follow A Bedtime Routine
Children learn how to follow routines from an early age, and a relaxing bedtime routine can teach them when it’s time to wind down for the night. Something as simple as giving your child a bath and then snuggling up with them in bed to read a story is enough to help them feel sleepy- and as a bonus you will be spending the best kind of quality time with them.
Younger children might simply like you to sing them a song and turn on a white noise machine before bed, while an older child may prefer to chat about their day with the lights down low. Only you know what kind of routine works best for your child- but when you’ve found it, make sure you stick to it.
Create A Relaxing Bedroom Environment
Some children might not like to go to sleep at night because they feel scared or anxious to spend time alone in a dark room without you. Others might feel uncomfortable in their beds or may struggle to sleep because of noise or light pollution.
Make sure your child’s bedroom is as dark and quiet as possible. If there’s a lot of noise coming from outside, a white noise machine or fan can help. For children who are scared of the dark, a night light can help to calm their fears.
The comfort of your child’s bed is also essential for a good night’s sleep. Maybe they’ve outgrown their previous bed, or perhaps their current bed or mattress just isn’t doing the trick.
If you’ve decided that it’s time for a new bed, then take a look at the children’s beds on offer at Bed Kingdom. They provide a wide range of beds that reflect your child’s growth, development and independence. From cots and cot beds, to single and bunk beds and mattresses, there’s a great variety of options for any child of any age.
Put Aside Some Time To Play
Children have a lot of energy, and if they haven’t gotten it all out during the day, then they might still be feeling too wired up to go to sleep at night. Make sure you take some time each day to engage in fun activities with your child that lets out their energy. This could be anything from jumping on the trampoline to having a dance party for two.
Stimulating a child intellectually can also help to tire them out. Crafts, jigsaws or board games are a great way to keep your child’s mind busy and ultimately help them fall asleep quicker that night.
Maintain Regular Sleep And Wake Times
Our body’s internal clock likes routine, so try to get into the habit of putting your child to bed and waking them up at the same time every day. If your child wakes any earlier, don’t enter their room or interact with them in any way until their set wake-up time is reached, otherwise you may be inadvertently encouraging them to alter their sleep cycle.
Small children need around 10-12 hours of sleep per night, so use these figures as a guideline when planning your child’s sleep and wake times.
Notice What They’re Eating And Drinking- And When
You’re probably already aware that the foods your child consumes have a significant impact on everything from their development to their sleep. Lots of sugary, processed food can lead to dramatic peaks in energy, which is something that you want to avoid before bedtime.
Many fizzy drinks and snacks like chocolate also contain caffeine, so make sure you limit these, and only let your child consume them earlier in the day. If your child goes to bed feeling too full or hungry, then this will also impact their sleep quality. Give them their last meal around two to three hours before bed, and set a rule in place for what time they can have their last drink.