If you're a parent you know your child's bedtime routine is one of the most important things you can do for them, yet it can be extremely challenging.
If children have sleep deprivation, they can struggle with controlling their emotions. This may cause them to be irritable or hyperactive. Children who are regularly sleep-deprived are more likely to have behaviour issues, have trouble paying attention and learning, and have the potential to be overweight. So although it can be challenging, it's important to ensure your child gets the sleep they need.
Regular schedules and bedtime routines play a big part in helping kids get satisfactory sleep and perform at their best. When you create and maintain good sleep routines, it helps your child fall asleep, remain asleep, and wake up rested. Good bedtime routines can help take the stress out of the evening too,
Every child is different, there is no set in stone way to do a bedtime routine. The most important thing is to build a routine that works for your family, and that you can all stick to. Below are five tips to get started:
Most of the time you will want to stick to consistent steps in a child's bedtime routine. A few elements to keep consistent include the time they go to sleep, parts of their routine (like story time and bath time), and the time they get up in the mroning.
You want to allow some flexibility in your child’s bedtime routine is because life sometimes get's in the way, but that's ok. A good routine can be life changing, especially if you want to create your own good bedtime routine too.
If you don’t already have a routine, this is the first step in combating bedtime battles.
- Step 1: Set a reasonable bedtime that is the same time every night of the week A consistent schedule is what helps your body’s natural circadian rhythm tell you when the body is ready to fall asleep.
- Step 2: Stay consistent. Even when you child really wants to stay up, the less you give in when it comes to bedtime, the more they’ll learn they can’t negotiate on their bedtime routine.
- Step 3: Create a routine with the same steps you follow each night. This may be taking a bubble bath, getting in pyjamas, brushing their teeth and hair, listening to a Koko Sleep episode and then lights out.
Make Sleep A Family Priority
Sleep should not only be your child's priority, but the whole families. You should try to set regular evening sleep times and wake-up times for the entire family and be sure to follow them, even on weekends and holidays. You can tell that children are getting enough sleep when they fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes of going to bed, wake up without effort in the morning, and don't snooze during the day.
Having a bedtime routine where you listen to a story together can help your children calm down, relax, and reduce their anxiety levels which will help them to sleep better.
If you have problems getting your children to sleep on an evening, why not try listening to Koko Sleep, a podcast of original bedtime stories and meditations for children, designed to make bedtimes a dream. So if you are a tired parent, innovative teacher, wise baby-sitter or curious kiddo then you’re in the right place. New episodes released every Monday and Wednesday, Koko Sleep has been designed to help children relax and float off to sleep faster than ever! So parents can win back a little ‘me’ time.
Work As A Team
It's important to discuss and agree on a sleep routine for your child with your partner beforehand and work together as a team to carry it out consistently. Otherwise, you can't expect your child to learn or alter their behaviour.
If you are starting a new sleep routine for your child, make them part of the team by explaining the new plan to them if they are old enough to understand. For a young child, try using a picture chart to help your child learn the new routine, showing actions like changing clothes, brushing their teeth, and listening to Koko Sleep.
Focusing on a clean, cool, dark and calm bedtime environment, along with your carefully constructed bedtime routine will allow your child time to settle, relax and ease into sleep. Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet and the noise level in the house is low. If your child does not like a totally dark room, turn on a small night light, or leave the hall light on and the door to the bedroom open.
Have you found any tips for overcoming your children's sleep issues on a night? Leave your experiences in the comments below and share the information with your friends and family who could benefit from it.
If you have problems getting your children to sleep on an evening, why not try listening to Koko Sleep, a podcast of original bedtime stories and meditations for children, designed to make bedtimes a dream. So if you are a tired parent, innovative teacher, wise baby-sitter or curious kiddo then you’re in the right place. New episodes released every Monday and Wednesday, Koko Sleep has been designed to help children relax and float off to sleep faster than ever! So parents can win back a little ‘me’ time. Subscribe here.