It’s that time of year again when we are all trying to get back into a routine. And getting our kids to sleep on time and getting up in the morning may be the toughest part of that routine — especially after a long summer. So what can you do to make your child’s sleep life easier?
Here are some helpful hints to get your kids to sleep:
1. Avoid big meals before bedtime. It’s best to maintain a regular dinner time so your kids are not eating too late. It’s also a good idea to avoid any caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. I also like to avoid sugar too close to bed — it cuts down on the energy sugar brings. Some parents say that foods like yogurt, cheese, and bananas right before bed can help your kids sleep better.
2. Turn off all electronics. As tempting as it is to allow your kids to play games or watch a movie before they fall asleep, it’s actually keeping them up and keeping their brains active. Reading before bedtime is always the best avenue to take. It will relax your kids especially if they like to lay in bed before falling asleep.
3. Set up a good sleep environment. It’s always a good idea to set up a peaceful, restful bedroom so your kids want to fall asleep. Set up night lights, use comfy sheets, put on a ceiling fan or even play restful music or sounds to fall asleep to. I use a diffuser with Serenity oil to help relax my kids before bedtime.
4. Turn out the lights. If your kids are having trouble sleeping, it’s probably the distraction of light. Use blackout curtains if it’s still daylight outside when your kids are going to sleep or avoid bright lights. Use a night light if your kids don’t like complete darkness. Or even put on a light in the hallway or bathroom so they can feel safe in bed.
5. Start the bedtime process 45 minutes before the bedtime you desire. Kids need to start winding down before they go to sleep. So if you want your kids to fall asleep by 8 pm, start the process around 7:15 pm. Turn the TV off, start cleaning up their toys, brush their teeth early and read a bedtime story. Then when they go into bed they still have time to get sleepy before the desired bedtime. It’s also a good idea to avoid scary stories or TV shows so you are not dealing with nightmares early in the morning.
6. Use night lights or white noise to help soothe them to sleep – Sometimes something as simple as a ceiling fan or a sound machine can help relax your child and help get them to sleep. A night light is also a good idea.
7. A warm bath can help relax your child – A warm bath or a warm glass of milk can be helpful in relaxing your child.
It’s also important you practice these sleep tips before school actually starts so you are ready to go before the first day of school.