Make Bedtime Enjoyable

Routines help provide children with structure and security. While schedules can’t always be maintained sticking to a pattern at bedtime will help settle and sooth a tired youngster. It will provide comfort for the little one and allow parents some much needed down time.

When establishing a bedtime and the routines surrounding it, consider some of the following. 

Comfortable Setting

Children need to feel comfortable in their sleeping area. Whether they share a room or have a bedroom for themselves it should be their space. Allow her to have items that give her a sense of ownership. Having pajamas and bed clothing with a favorite character and a favorite stuffed toy to snuggle with can help ease separation anxiety young children often feel when expected to sleep by themselves in a big bed.  

Making it Fit

Every family is different with their own set of circumstances. Bedtime should fit comfortably into the normal daily routine.  Children need a few hours to digest their dinner and naturally settle down from the day’s activities. Parents need to devote twenty to thirty minutes to getting their little ones ready for bed. Other activities should fit into the evening routine. If he has a favorite show or video make sure you start it so he has time to finish it before bedtime. Try to avoid games that get him too excited opt instead for a child friendly movie or quiet play.

Give Notice

A short time before beginning the bedtime routine let the child know it’s almost time for bed. It will allow them a chance to finish up an activity and mentally prepare for going to sleep. She has a chance to put her doll to bed or complete the puzzle before ending her day.

Soothing activities

A warm bath and one on one time with his parents will help soothe him and quiet his mind. Encourage him to tell you about his day. Listen to any concerns or fears and try to ease his tension. He is at home with his family and all is well. 

Favorite for Last

Many children enjoy snuggling next to their parent and having a story read or told to them. The gentle tone of a trusted voice can help ease them into sleep. When she’s older let her read to you. Chapter books can be a fun way to explore a new world together. She’ll look forward to finding out what happens in the next segment. Afterwards give her a hug and a kiss before tucking her in and turning off the light. If darkness is scary to her allow a soft night light or leave the door slightly ajar.

Be Firm

Despite a parent’s best efforts to make bedtime routines enjoyable and soothing some children will battle against going to sleep. Adults need to be firm and quietly insistent. Raised voices and threats of punishment will only heighten a child’s anxiety. Giving in to her demands will rob you of the time you need to replenish your batteries  When she gets out of bed put her back in and leave the room. Repeat it as often as necessary. It may be trying and difficult but if you follow through everyone will benefit.

The evening should be a relaxing time for a family. It’s a chance to shut the world out and allow the body and mind a chance to rest. Job pressures and other circumstances may make this difficult so it’s important to ease tensions within the household as much as possible. Make preparing your child for a bed an enjoyable time. It will help you both sleep soundly.