Bedtime can be a stressful event for both parents and children, but it thankfully doesn’t have to be. The importance of creating a relaxing bedtime routine cannot be emphasized enough. It will help the kids easily fall asleep and make their way to dreamland. It’s more than just brushing your teeth and tucking them in, though. Just like adults, children need certain activities that help relax them. Dimming lights, avoiding TV and mobile device screens, and playing soft music helps to induce a perfect sleeping atmosphere.
Setting a Schedule
Reptitation and structure help children to feel safe, so setting a schedule and letting your child know the events soon before they happen is key to preventing any outbreaks of negative behaviors. Children need structure and a schedule to thrive. It sets expectations and makes the routine more fluid. As your child unwinds, let them know that soon you’ll be giving them a bath and getting ready for bed (about 10-15 minutes beforehand). The schedule itself will greatly depend on the parents or caretakers availability, but a good rule of thumb is to slowly start about an hour or two before actually tucking them in.
Relaxing Bath Tips
Just like for you, baths can be relaxing. If you’re child isn’t fond of water or bathtime, try to make it a fun experience. Throw in some kid-friendly lavender bubbles. You can even find bathtime bubbles for children with relaxing scents. The warm water and soothing scents will calm your child and prepare them for bedtime. If your child’s skin isn’t able to handle bubbles, put in a few toys or create a little game or sing a few lullabies.
Another great step is applying a lavender lotion on your child’s skin, giving them a gentle massage.This is the perfect way to lull them to sleep. There is a plethora of resources on children massages for bedtime that can help with this process. The most important thing is not to overstimulate or the child will “wake up” and it will be even more difficult to get them to sleep.
Create a Soothing Environment
From the moment you start your bedtime routine, it is important that you create a relaxing environment. Avoid upbeat music, entertaining TV shows, or anything that will distract or energize your child. Make sure you avoid foods and drinks that may cause a sugar rush as you near bedtime. Put on soft music or a collection of children’s lullabies at a low volume, or even sing your own to your son or daughter.
One way to create a soothing environment is making sure your home is properly ventilated to ensure every inch of your home is getting heated and cool. You should first replace your filters with services such as filter king to make sure your air is fresh and clean. You could even replace your filters with air filters with essential oils infused to make your home even more cozy.
The Importance of Snacks
It’s been a long time since dinner and it’s going to be an even longer time until morning. No one can sleep well on an empty stomach, and the last thing you want is your child to wake up in search of a midnight snack. Offer them a granola bar or small treat to fill their stomachs and help them stay full until morning. Remember to avoid sweets so as to avoid a sugar rush. Bananas promote relaxation in children, and so does warm milk — it’s not just a myth! Warm up some milk and drizzle a small amount of honey and offer a few crackers to nibble on, and your child will feel warm, comfortable, and read to drift off into sleep.
All children are different and some techniques will work better on some children than others. The important part of a routine is finding out what works best for your child and sticking to it. Take note of what relaxes your child — what foods, music, scents, and activities.