The one thing that can help is to positive bedtime rituals in place. It can be difficult to follow in the beginning, but if you’re persistent it will pay off.
Here you’ll find 10 top tips to help you settle your kids for the night.
1. Plan a realistic routine
The very first thing you need to do is to plan the routine. It needs to be something you can stick to. Once used to the routine, your child will expect the same thing every night. So, if you start off singing the soundtrack to their favourite Disney movie, you’d better be prepared to go the distance and sing it every night!
2. Give them a bath
Having fun in the bath can be a great start to bedtime. Providing you put your kids to bed not long after bath time, they will soon start to associate baths with bed. Water also has the ability to tire kids out so they will sleep better too.
3. Keep mental stimulation to a minimum
Around 30 minutes before bedtime, make sure you start to wind any activity down. Don’t allow them to get too excited. You could put a night-time DVD on – there are many DVDs out there designed to help your kids get ready for bed.
4. Keep the routine short
The entire bedtime routine shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes. The younger the child is, the less time it should take. A toddler and preschool child should take no longer than 15-20 minutes to settle. However, this is sometimes easier said than done!
5. Don’t leave a light on
It’s important to establish that lights out mean sleep and lights on mean they can wake up. There are some pretty useful gadgets you can buy which show kids when it’s time to get up.
6. Consistency is key
In order for any routine to work, you need to be consistent. This means no matter how hard it is, you need to keep the routine exactly the same. There will be times this might not work out, but you need to keep the routine as frequently as you can.
7. Be prepared to be flexible
While it’s important to be consistent, there are times when you’ll need to be flexible. Your child could be ill for example. Or they could be stressed about something that’s currently going on. Know when a change in the routine is needed and don’t feel too guilty about it. Providing you get back on track again soon after, it shouldn’t mess up the routine too much.
8. Treat it as a special time
Bedtime is such a special time for you and your child. This often gets lost in the stress of it all. Before long your child will be growing up and they will no longer want a bedtime story or a cuddle before they sleep. Make the most of bedtimes while you can and use it as a chance to bond with them.
9. Try to limit your stress levels
If you go into the routine feeling stressed that it won’t work, your child will pick up on that. Any sign of stress could make them stressed and that will cause problems when trying to settle them down. Remain calm as much as you possibly can.
10. Try soothing rituals
Every child is different so what works to settle one down, won’t necessarily work for another. Some things you can try to help them settle include back rubs, singing a lullaby and reading a bedtime story.
Image Credit: Cyron