Bedtime is one of the more difficult and frustrating aspects of being a parent. When you’re tired and ready for the day to be over, the last thing you want to do is grab another glass of water or read another story. However, there are some ways to make bedtime a relaxing and enjoyable time for both you and the kids. Here are some ideas to make bedtime move along as just another part of the day.
Include Activity in Your Day
Children need lots of exercise and ways to burn energy, and in today’s world, sometimes they don’t get as much as they should. Make it a point to get your kids outside and active for an hour a day. Getting their physical energy out will help them feel tired faster and help them fall asleep better.
Turn off the Screens
Screens, especially phones or tablets can keep you awake. As a rule of thumb, plan to put up these devices at least an hour before you’d like your children to be asleep. Make it a rule that computers, games, and TVs are not a part of a bedtime ritual, for you or the kids.
Set a Routine
A routine makes bedtime easier because the kids will know what to expect each night. Try to start your routine around the same time each night. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Perhaps you can start with a bath, put on pajamas, and brush their teeth. A dentist at Guerra Colorado dental recommends making brushing with your kids a habit. Then they can copy you, brush with better technique, and get used to doing it as a routine. Then take them to their bedroom, and read a story of their choosing. You can spend some time talking about the day, say a prayer if that’s your thing, and sing a calm song.
Make Sure the Room is Comfortable
A dark room is good for sleeping, however if the kids are scared of the dark, consider adding a small night light. If the room is too hot or cold, this can make it more difficult to sleep as well. Check the thermostat each night to be sure it’s set up right. Some children like white noise machines or listening to music as they go to sleep, so be sure to add this in as an element if possible.
Consider Seeing the Doctor
If you try all these things, and bedtime is still a struggle, it might be time to talk to your child’s doctor. Sometimes there are chemical deficiencies that can cause problems related to sleep. The doctor can prescribe medicine or even do a sleep study if they expect another problem.
With just a few simple changes, bedtime can become much easier for the whole family. Let the kids get their energy out, and turn off those screens before bedtime. Set your bedtime routine and make sure they have a comfortable place to sleep. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the doctor if you need it. After some practice, they will drift off to sleep in no time, and you can relax.