Establishing a bedtime routine for your child will have many benefits for both you and your child. A bedtime routine will help your child wind down from their day and learn to transition to get their much-need sleep. A bedtime routine can also provide your child with one-on-one time and attention. The tips below can help you set up a bedtime routine for your child at any age.
1- Set a Schedule and Stick to It
The bedtime routine you use must be tailored to your child’s needs depending upon their age and your lifestyle. It can be as long or as short as is needed. The most important point is that you must keep the routine consistent, so your child knows what to expect. That is not to say that you can make changes as the situation changes, but you will find you have fewer struggles with bedtime if you maintain your schedule.
2- Set a Time
Choose a time to start the bedtime routine that will allow your child to get enough sleep. If you start bedtime too late when your child is too tired, you may encounter more struggles with them fighting sleep.
3- Choose a Comfortable Mattress
If your child has been resisting going to bed, take into consideration the comfort of their bed. When transitioning between beds, you can let your child help make the choice. Visit a mattress store and allow your child to test out different mattresses to see which one they like best.
4- Bath Time
Most parents will incorporate a bath or shower in their child’s bedtime routine. This is a tried-and-true way for your child to start winding down and relax.
5- Healthy Snack
Depending on your child’s age, they may need a snack before bedtime to tide them over until morning. Just make sure it is healthy with limited sugars. This also applies to any drink you offer – make sure it does not contain caffeine or too much sugar.
6- Read a Good Book
Reading a book to your child has been a popular bedtime routine. Babies, as well as older children, enjoy having a book read to them and this is a great way to encourage them to wind down from the day. Choose an age-appropriate book that is not too exciting or scary. You can choose longer books for older children and read a portion of the book each night.
7- Limit Repeats
Toddlers are notorious for asking over and over for repeats to stall bedtime – one more glass of water, one more book, one more trip to the bathroom. You must limit these because indulging in them can extend bedtime for hours and encourage the behavior.
8- No Screen Time
There should be no screen time involved in the bedtime routine. Whether it is a game on a phone or tablet or a show on TV, the light and action have been shown to cause sleep disruptions.
Establishing a bedtime routine will help your child get the proper amount of sleep they need to function and grow appropriately. Bedtime routines teach your child how to go to sleep on their own which will serve them for a lifetime.