Many parents are familiar with this problem: how to get kids to sleep on a regular basis and without any resistance. Good news, there are some simple things you can do to help establish a routine and good habits. Here are top tips for how to get kids to sleep well:
#1. Establish Regular Times
Establish a regular time for both going to bed and for waking up. Setting a regular time helps the body clock to get into a good sleep pattern.
#2. Ensure your child is getting enough sleep
Read our guide for how much sleep do kids need, it depends on the age of the child but generally the older the child, the less sleep they need (even though parents of teens might disagree!).
Make a routine every bedtime, which includes at least 15-30 minutes of calm, soothing activities.
When my kids were younger, we used to do:
- one final tv programme
- quick drink/snack
- sleep time.
Whatever works best for your family obviously and when my kids got older, a bath wasn’t important any more to relax them.
Recommended Read: 6 Secrets to Developing Good Sleeping Habits in Kids
#4. Interact with your child at bedtime
Don’t use TV or videos as a substitute for you being part of the bedtime routine. A simple thing to do is to read together. Bedtime stories are a very easy way to establish a bedtime routine and children look forward to them, particularly if it’s a chapter (or two) each night to find out what happens next in the story.
You might enjoy reading 100 Best Ever Bedtime Books for Kids
#5. Try to avoid helping your child fall asleep
Try to not let your child fall asleep while being held, rocked, fed a bottle, or while nursing.
This can be a tough one especially when they are small, not 100% well or just needing cuddles, but letting your child fall asleep by themselves is important for their own good sleep habits.
#6. Limit caffeinated drinks
Try to avoid giving caffeinated drinks (including sodas and hot chocolate) later in the day.
#7. Cut out high-tech distractions in the bedroom
Avoid screen time and particularly in the bedroom. Make sure tablets, iPods and phones are off during the bedtime routine.
You might find Why Your Child Sleeping Less Might be Leading to Obesity of interest
Over to you now, what’s your bedtime routine and do you have any tips to share? Tell us in the comments below.