5 Ways To Make Bedtime Easy
Bedtime is the most difficult part of the day for most parents. There will always be differences of opinion when it comes to how to get kids to go to bed without a fuss. Let's be real: a vast majority of parents cave to every demand during bedtime. You know how it is. ' I want some water!', 'I gotta go potty!'Etc. How do you win the bedtime battle? Here are my 5 tips that have helped me win..... most nights.
Set A Routine:
Kids between the ages of one and four have no real comprehension of time. Use that to your advantage. We set 8pm as bedtime. This means in bed at 8pm. The hour or so leading up to bedtime is part of the routine. Once you set the time, start doing the same things every night leading up to 8pm. This includes weekends. The bottom line is to do the same set of actions every night before bed. This will get the child in the mindset that it's time to go to bed. Keeping the routine isn't always going to happen. If we go out of town we try to maintain the routine. If we can't, we make sure to jump back on the train when we get home.
You won't need these often if you keep your child physically active during the day. On the days that your child is struggling to fall asleep or is still giddy an hour before bed, I'd suggest allowing one gummy. We occasionally give our daughter melatonin usually right before we start reading bedtime stories. Melatonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that helps us fall asleep. I'm not a doctor so make sure to talk to your pediatrician before giving your child melatonin.
Read, read and read some more:
I was NOT a fan of reading growing up. I could never get interested enough in a book to read for fun. I can't say I didn't read at all as a child but you wouldn't see me getting yelled at for staying up late reading. With that being said, my wife and I decided that we were going to do whatever we could to instill a love for reading in our children. So, we make a point to buy books at yard sales and go to the library pretty often. When you pick out a book stick with short sentences and lots of pictures. I notice I get more engagement when I can have her point out different things in the photo. Here's the bonus tip. Only allow a limited amount of books that you will read. We normally do three or four. This will do two things. first, it plays into the routine. They know they will only get a set amount of books to read. The second thing is it keeps you from taking too long to get them sleeping. Bonus tip number 2, they can't read yet so sometimes you can tactically shorten the book by giving the paraphrased version.
This came in handy on numerous occasions. The trick here is to find a simple song that is soft and repetitive. YouTube is a great resource for lullaby songs that are on a three-hour loop or longer. We found a song when our daughter was still an infant that soothed her and we used that song exclusively. Whenever she made a fuss we'd play that song and she'd be asleep within a few minutes.
No Screen Time:
This should be a no brainer but, I didn't realize this until late in the game. Have you ever found yourself mindlessly scrolling on Facebook until the early morning hours? Being on a phone or tablet close to bedtime has been proven to hinder our ability to shut our brains down and prepare for sleep. The same thing keeps children from being able to settle into sleep. I recommend starting the bedtime routine an hour prior to bed. This gets you and the kid away from the TV, Phone, tablet, etc. and able to spend some quiet time together.
These are not the only methods to help you with the bedtime struggle. So, if you have your own tips, please be sure to comment below. If you haven't subscribed to my blog, please sign up so you can get notified of new posts. Follow me on Twitter @DaddyCombat1
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