Being a parent is tiring, which makes it all that more important to get some shut-eye at the end of the day. But what happens when you are ready for bed, and your child isn’t?
Getting your child to fall asleep is sometimes easier said than done. While each child is different, these tips and tricks will get your child sleeping easily and for the entire night — leaving more zzz’s for you to catch!
Set a bedtime and a wake-up time
This may seem self-explanatory, but setting a bedtime in addition to a wake-up time is crucial to creating a sleep pattern that works like clockwork. It is pivotal for children to go to sleep and to wake up at the same time every single day, no matter whether it is a holiday, a weekend, or you have had a special event that night. Simply missing one day can throw a child’s body clock out of whack for a few days, so do the best you can to set strict times and stick to them every day.
Invest in quality bedding
You know how wonderful it feels when you have freshly changed sheets to crawl into, with a nice blanket and pillow on top? It is easier to doze off when you have quality bedding with a nice new feel, so get some great bedding for your child’s crib and/or bed. There are special pillows for kids, along with duvets and sheets that feel cool and soft for your little ones to rest on, and they will be happy and stay happy all night.
Keep playtime and screen time to a minimum
You may think that having your child play before going to bed would be a great way to tire them out, but it actually may work in reverse. Having playtime less than three hours before bed can cause your child to stay stimulated and fight off sleep. This also goes for any toys with bright screens, because the light can keep a child’s brain alert way longer than you’d like for it to be! So keep the play and screens to a minimum after dinner, and stick to books and quiet games instead.
Give them a little snack
There are times when you have woken up hungry in the middle of the night, and chances are your child has as well. It takes a lot of effort to go make a snack and feed your child in the middle of the night, so give them a small snack to fuel them for the entire time they’re sleeping. Good ideas include whole wheat crackers and peanut butter, some cheese, pretzels, or some fruit. Plus, children are more likely to fall asleep with full tummies!
Don’t always respond in the middle of the night
Of course, this goes to your personal preference, but always going in to soothe your children when they call for you can only cause headaches down the line. You will want to wait a few minutes before responding to your children if they yell or cry in the middle of the night so they can soothe themselves and remember that they should be sleeping. If they get used to your coming in the room every time they need something, they won’t develop the skill of sleeping through the night and may even be anxious when going to sleep every night.
With these tricks in mind, you will be on your way to a quiet and calm household. Now, go get your beauty sleep!