Bedtime doesn’t need to be a struggle, but getting kids to go to sleep is often a real challenge. Change the way you handle bedtime, and make it a fun point in your child’s day. Perception is everything when it comes to kids, so learn how to disguise your bedtime routine into a fun activity that your child looks forward to rather than dreads.
Make a bedtime routine and stick with it, every night. Routines can make all the difference in the world to your child’s behaviour. Your child will handle the impending sleep much better when they know what is coming and what to expect. Be consistent. If you brush their teeth after bath time one night, do it in the same order every night after. Don’t skip the routine if you are too busy, make it your priority and you will reap the benefits.
Make each step in the bedroom routine more fun for your child. Sing songs in the bathtub, make a game out of brushing their teeth, and challenge them to put their pajamas on ‘all by himself/herself’. Once they are all tucked into bed, do a special activity together. Let your child pick their favorite book or make up a story together. Have a talk about their day or quietly cuddle and listen to music. Your child will begin to look forward to the day ending so they can have their special bonding time with mum or dad.
After you say goodnight and make sure they have everything they need, kiss your child goodnight and let them know you will check on them. Young children do not like to feel like they have been abandoned, and this simple reassurance will help them fall asleep quicker without the worry.
Bedtime is definitely not a favorite with children (or parents). If you make the effort to keep a consistent nightly routine and go out of your way to make bedtime fun, you and you child will be much happier because of it.