6 Tips for Helping Kids Sleep
Preparing a kid for bedtime can sometimes be quite a challenge. Some children just don't want to go to bed, or they have trouble relaxing and falling asleep. So, we've put together a few tips that can help parents and babysitters make a kid’s bedtime an easier and more comfortable experience for everyone.
A consistent evening routine gives the child the feeling that it is time to relax and prepare for bedtime. Try to repeat the evening activities such as washing your face, brushing your teeth, and putting on your pajamas every evening in the same order so the children get used to it. It may also be stress-relieving and relaxing for the child to pack their own backpack for day care or school, or lay out their outfit for the next morning. Try to include the children in the preparation of an evening routine: perhaps the child wants to prepare the cuddly toys before bedtime or say goodnight to their pets and siblings.
No late dinner or late snacks
While it may not seem like it, taking into account a child’s eating schedule is quite important when it comes to preparing for bedtime. When children eat, they get much more energy, which is not ideal late in the evening when planning for bedtime. So, it is important to think about how late children eat dinner, and additionally, how and what they eat for evening snacks or desserts. Try to schedule dinner early enough before bedtime so that the child isn’t still full of energy making it hard for them to relax and go to sleep. The same applies to desserts or snacks in the evening. Eat these as soon as possible after dinner instead of just before going to bed.
Turn off all electronics
Looking at screens right before going to bed is not good for children or for adults. The bright lights and activity on the screen activate the brain and make it more difficult to relax. Try to minimize childrens’ screen time in the evening, whether it is smartphones, tablets, computers, or TVs. It is also recommended to keep all of these electronic devices out of the bedroom. This can help reduce the temptation to use them in the evening and can help children relax and fall asleep more easily.
Play before bed
It is important to get rid of excess energy before going to bed, as this makes it easier to relax and fall asleep. We already mentioned why screen time before sleeping is not the best idea, so what else can you do? Instead of watching television, why not do something where the child can use up their energy before getting ready for evening routines and bed. Playing can be a great way to do so, both entertaining the child and getting rid of some excess energy before going to sleep. It is important, however, that children are not too busy at bedtime, so take a moment to relax after the activities, for example by reading a book together. Alternatively, you can play more relaxing games closer to bedtime. For example, you can play board games which don't require as much physical activity or energy, which may stimulate kids and make it harder for them to sleep.
Keep the bedroom dark and cool
A dark room that is around a cool, comfortable 19 degrees celsius is one of the best conditions for restful sleep. It is also soothing for children if the room and bedding is clean, and if the room smells nice! Room cleaning and toy arrangements can also be part of the evening routine and can help prepare the child for bedtime.
An Audiobook can help children relax and dream sweetly
Even if you have already read a bedtime story together, an audiobook or a radio helps many children fall asleep. Nowadays, a large number of children's books are available as audiobooks. If you have an audiobook application, you can find suitable audiobooks for different age groups. Youtube also offers a wide range of free audio books and soothing music that can help your child fall asleep.
We hope these tips will help you and your children fall asleep more easily and make bedtime go more smoothly. After the children fall asleep, relax, and take yourself a well-earned a moment of me-time! Good night!