It doesn’t matter if you have an infant, toddler, child, or pre-teen, a good bedtime routine makes all the difference. There are many different books, and advice on what the bedtime routine should be, but they all have the same goal. The goal is for your little one to go to sleep on their own. Here’s a few tips on how to establish and stick to a bedtime routine.
Setting The Routine
The first thing to remember is that not all routines will work for your home. Some children like to have a story before all other parts of getting ready for bed, while others may want the story after they’re in bed. Think about what would work in your home and set your routine from that.
If you can make dental hygiene part of your little one’s bedtime routine early, it can make things easier as they grow. You can start by cleaning your baby’s gums, and as they grow, they can start to take responsibility for it themselves.
Your child’s routine will change as they grow. Bedtime will change, and the things they need to do before bed will change. Make sure that their bedtime routine is appropriate to their age. You also need to be sure that the routine isn’t too long, or overly complex. A good routine, not including a bath, should take around ten to fifteen minutes.
Little ones can’t choose what time they go to bed, but they can make some choices in their bedtime routines. They can choose a book to read, or they can choose between two pairs of pyjamas.
Set the Room Up for Success
Make sure the room is set up for successful sleep. Keep an eye on the temperature and make sure the room isn’t too cold. You’ll also need to make sure the room is dark, but not too dark. Blackout blinds can help your child sleep, and a night light can help reassure little ones who are scared of the dark. You’ll also want to be sure that your child takes whatever comfort objects, such as blankets or plushies, to bed with them. However, some of these items may be unsafe for children under one.
Avoid Stimulation Before Bed
It isn’t a good idea for children to be really stimulated when they’re going to bed. Some parents turn off all devices and stop all games and stimulating activities for half an hour before bed, others turn everything off an hour before bed.
Sticking With the Routine
Sticking with the routine is going to be the hardest part of any bedtime routine. Sometimes life just gets in the way of our plans, but these tips can help you.
Children learn through consistency, so it really is key to developing a bedtime routine that works. Decide on the order of your routine and repeat it every night.
Build In Some Extra Time
Build some extra time into your routine, so that if something comes up and you’re running late, it isn’t going to cause a tantrum. Even if you are running late, try to stick to the order of the routine anyway.
Don’t Let Them Drag It Out
Children like to push boundaries and dragging out bedtime is a common one that most parents will face at some point. If your children try to drag out bedtime by asking for a drink, snacks or bathroom visits, incorporate these into the bedtime routine.