Bringing your children to sleep is not as simple as taking them to their beds and letting them snooze on their own. Sleep specialists say that we all need to take predictable steps every night to help us fall asleep, and the same applies to kids. In short, in the long run, pre-sleeping patterns help make falling asleep easier through conditioning. That said, moms need to build a routine to make bedtime easier for kids and less stressful for moms.
Experts consolidated these four simple tips on making bedtime habits:
Have a good night’s game plan.
Having a game plan means laying out your routine before going to sleep. To most people, this includes taking a bath, brushing the teeth, washing the face, putting on sleepwear, reading a book, and saying a prayer. Your routine will ultimately depend on your personal preference, as long as it is a relaxing way to end your day. Just remember that a routine is not a routine unless it is consistent. Once you have a game plan set, jot it down and explain it to your children.
Less technology and detoxify.
Family therapists say that the process of unwinding begins even minutes before lying down on the bed. In fact, both parents and kids need to -tech and detoxify at least an hour before bedtime. This means that you need to turn off all techie gadgets (read: computers, laptops, TVs, video games, cellphones, and tablets!) and stay away from caffeine at nighttime. Gadgets and caffeine both keep the brain active and prevent it from relaxing. Instead of using gadgets and drinking caffeine, families may resort to gentle play such as reading, conversations, or even sleep-inducing yoga positions.
Set up for sleep.
Do not under estimate the power of ambiance in making your child sleep. Do not prepare anything fancy, though. Keep the lighting low and the sounds gentle. As much as possible, veer away from distracting harsh white light and music with lyrics. There are various sounds sleeping aids on the Internet that you can download or play off YouTube. Know that kids have a tendency to wander off when they are bored, so try to stay in his sleeping environment until he falls asleep to make sure that he does not leave the room.
Commit, commit, commit.
With a regular and healthy sleeping routine, your child will have an easier time falling asleep at a regular time everyday. Not only does this condition his body to stimuli that will help induce sleep, but it will also make him more disciplined. Knowing that you mean your rules will help him understand the importance of following them. That said, commit to your own sleep routine and set a good example to your kids.
These four tips are just some of the many ways to develop a sleeping pattern for your children. Establishing a regular sleep routine may be a challenge at first, especially with very playful kids. Just remember that the key here is consistency. Habits take time to develop, but when they do, all of it becomes worth it.