A bedtime routine will help children get the sleep needed. It is important to get a good night’s sleep so that children can be active and attentive when they wake up. Otherwise, a child could become lethargic, irritable, and have poor concentration the next day. Additionally, it is believed that children grow the most when they sleep at night.
Parents need to introduce their children to a bedtime routine so they can learn and maintain healthy sleep habits.
A bedtime routine can involve certain activities to calm them. It is advised to perform these activities 20 minutes before the children are sent to bed. It is important that the children perform the same activities every night before bedtime so they can get used to the routine.
Tips and activities to help your child fall asleep:
- Choose a bedtime
The ideal bedtime is closest to when a child will naturally fall asleep. This can increase the effectiveness of the bedtime routine and make it easier for the child to get used to. It is important to stick to a particular time so a child’s body clock can adjust to the routine.
- Set a reminder
Give the child a reminder so they know when the bedtime is approaching. Rather than telling them directly that it’s time to sleep, you can start the first activity of the routine. This will be much more effective because children will associate bedtime to the start of that activity.
- Bedtime snacks
After dinner, give the child a light snack. Choose the kind of snacks that contain carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will make the child sleepy, and the protein will maintain their blood sugar levels until breakfast the next day. Make the children brush their teeth before going to sleep.
- Warm bath
This raises the child’s body temperature which will help them fall asleep easily.
Make the children wear comfortable pajamas that are non-binding.
- Sleep environment
Turn off all the bright lights in the bedroom and reduce the noise level of the house. Children may not feel comfortable in a completely dark room, so turn on a night lamp or leave their bedroom door open.
- Read a story
This is a comforting and enjoyable activity that will help calm the children and make them sleepy. Choose a book or a story that the child finds interesting and introduce a variety of stories.
- Play music
While reading a story, you can play soft music to make the children feel sleepy. Stop playing the music after the child has fallen asleep.
- Comfort object
If your child has a tough time falling asleep, give him/her a soft toy like a teddy bear or doll. The toy could comfort the child.
A bedtime routine will soothe and calm the child so it can go to sleep easily. Without this routine, it can be hard for a child to settle down and be prepared for sleep.