A good night’s sleep is essential for children to prevent them from being grouchy, cranky, and irritable.
After a long day of playing, the kids are ready for bed. To help them have the best night’s sleep possible and ensure they get their daily dose of exercise, try these tips to put into place your own routine.
1. Make sure there is a regular bedtime routine
A lot of children are quite resistant to the idea of having a bedtime routine, but with consistency and practice, they will adapt and become accustomed to it. For example, you can start out with reading books as your first activity at night followed by another activity such as brushing teeth or taking a bath.
2. Make sure there is at least an hour of exercise during the day, whether it is before school or after school
Sometimes kids are just too tired to do anything at night, so make sure they get their dose of activity in throughout the day. Exercise releases endorphins, which is why kids will have a more positive attitude after working out. A positive outlook and good mood will help them sleep soundly that night.
3. Avoid napping after 3 PM
Naps can take a toll on the body and interfere with a child’s sleep patterns, so try to avoid them after 3 PM. Napping during the day can make their bedtime later, which will result in them not getting enough sleep. This could have a negative impact on a child’s behavior and mood during the day.
4. Make sure that no electronic devices are allowed in the bedroom
Electronic devices such as televisions and computers keep kids awake. Even smartphones and tablets with games can have an effect on this as well. If you must provide them with a device for entertainment, make sure it is in another room.
5. Establish a comfortable bedtime ritual that your child will enjoy
Make the process fun by creating your own songs or stories that you can sing to them as they fall asleep. The routine and song should be something special just between you two so that when your child is old enough to have friends over, they will be impressed and wonder about your secret.
Read: 50+ Baby Lullaby Songs
6. Have a bedtime snack
Just like adults, children can get very hungry when they go to sleep so make sure they are well fed before bedtime. A bowl of warm milk or peanut butter toast is often just the right thing to help them fall asleep.
7. Ensure your child’s room is dark, quiet, and comfortable
Make sure that their room has a calm environment with no lights coming in from other rooms or outside. Also ensure they have the right mattress, sheets, pillows, and blankets for them to sleep comfortably and get a good night’s rest.
8. Always be kind and patient
It can be very frustrating when kids do not listen to you or when they are just too stubborn. The last thing you want is for them to develop a negative attitude towards going to bed, so always be kind and gentle with them as they get ready for the next day. Remember: it takes discipline, time, and practice but the results will be well worth it in the end.
9. Read books to your child before bedtime
Reading books not only helps develop your child’s reading skills but also helps them relax and get ready for sleep. Reading storybooks or comics can even lead to a dialogue between you two as you ask questions about the book such as “what do you like about this book?” “What is your favorite part of the story?”, etc.
10. Finally, always be there for them when they need someone to talk to or when they want some help
As parents, it can get very exhausting trying to figure out ways to make your kids go to sleep on time and how long they should sleep at night. Just remember to relax and be patient with them over time as you help them get into a good routine they can follow every day!
These tips are helpful, not only because they provide guidance in terms of what parents should do but also offer practical strategies that can be used by anyone who has children.