Monday, June 6, 2011

Bedtime Routines for Kids

Once, I had a hard time putting my boys to sleep. Though they had a very long and tiring day, still they were full of energy, very hyper, and wide awake. They were fighting off sleep and refuse to go to sleep.  At times, they only fall asleep when I’m around checking on them and staying there until they were finally asleep after two hours. And that’s the time I can do the house chores and everything I needed to do. I’ve been searching for a lot of ways to put my kids to sleep without sacrificing a lot of time and setting aside the things that I needed to do until I've read this list from Some list here is really proven based on my experience.

The bedtime ritual
It is best to put up a routine or ritual for your child before going to sleep.  If your child learns to follow a certain routine before going to sleep, it will not be hard for him to go to sleep because he is relaxed and comfy, and he will know that its time to sleep once the ritual have started. You must stick to the routine so that if you’re in unfamiliar places, it will be easy for him to go to sleep.
You can decide which kind of ritual that you want to follow every night.  You can include a warm bath, reading a bedtime story, giving a glass of milk, or a little cuddle, whichever will be fine just as long as the activity will calm him and not get him up.
If you start the ritual in the bathroom or in the living room,  It should end in your child’s room or in your room if your child sleeps there.  Its essential to train your child to sleep in the room and assure him that you’ll be back later to check on him so he may not feel afraid or upset.

Release some energy
A play can help release some built-up energy in your child’s body before going down to bed. Every night, my sons and I use to play “the chase play” or “habulan” in filipino for 30 minutes and I can say that this really make them tired and happy, and then I give soak them to warm bath after. A bath or anything that calms the child should follow the raucous play in order to prepare him to bed.

Immerse him to warm bath
This will give your child a clean and comfy feeling before going to bed. Sure he’ll have a good night’s sleep feeling dry, clean and cool especially during the summer, where the weather will give us a hot and sticky feeling.

Read a bedtime story
Your child can benefit from reading or hearing a bedtime story because it will not only increase your child’s vocabulary and improve language skills, it can also build a lasting bond between you and your child. You can let him choose what story you can read for him to manage the bedtime routine.  For my hearing impaired child’s case, I let him look at the pictures on the book and sign to him the story, and then after a while, he’s fast asleep.

Sing a lullabye
This one is performed by my husband for I am no expert in singing. (or its just that he’s got the gut to sing ^^). For years, this routine is tried and tested and I could say that my kids really love their dad to sing a lullabye. It makes them feel comfortable and calm them totally. Before I know it, they are already asleep.

Play soothing music
I’ve tried this once and it really helped put my kids to sleep. Soft music could help soothe them and it will be easy for them to shift from wakefulness to sleep. some of the music that helped me put my kids to sleep is a classic guitar instrumental, classic piano instrumental, and my favorite-the rockabye baby! Renditions of rock artists.

Leave a light on
My kids really hate sleeping when the lights are off. Their imagination are so strong that they could create some creatures and afraid that it may come and get them. A nightlight could help them feel calm and secured, and help them fall asleep.

1 comment:

  1. This is Cheryl over from Abiding Joy. Thanks for leaving a comment! It's nice to "meet" you. (c: These are some great tips! My middle child is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to bed time. We'll have to try to incorporate some of these into our bedtime routine. Thanks!