Sleep is essential for healthy health, but problems falling asleep aren’t only a part of growing up. When children refuse to settle in and go asleep, bedtime can become a battleground. However, there are techniques to improve your chances of winning. Here are some great ways to get your child to go to bed that parents should know.
Great Ways to Get Your Child to Go to Bed
Set a bedtime
Even on weekends and over the summer, try to stick to a steady bedtime. When the sun doesn’t set until after 8:30 p.m., it can be difficult to get kids to bed by 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., but it’s a good idea to avoid bedtime creeping toward 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., only to have them adjust to a new sleep schedule once school starts.
Sleep habits take time to develop, but they are simple to break. A regular sleep routine, on the other hand, will cause your child to feel weary and fall asleep more easily at the appropriate time once it is set. As a result, it’s well worth the effort to maintain a consistent nighttime schedule as much as feasible.
Set a wake-up time
Set a wake-up time for your child based on how much sleep they require and when they go to bed. Woods advises parents to establish a wake-up ritual as early as the preschool years to help alleviate stress in the future.
And don’t forget to stick to the schedule. Allowing your child to sleep in on weekends is a sweet gesture, but it may backfire in the long run. Those extra hours of sleep will make it difficult for their bodies to feel weary when it’s time to go to bed. However, if you can keep bedtime and wake-up times within an hour or so every day, you will make everyone’s lives so much easier.
Understand your child’s sleep needs
Individual children, like adults, require varying amounts of sleep. Some children may get by on eight to nine hours of sleep every night, while others require at least eleven hours or more to feel rested. Also, whereas many younger children are hardwired to get up and go to bed early, this pattern shifts for tweens and teens, whose bodies prefer to sleep in and remain up later.
As much as possible, work around their school and other activity schedules to honor their natural sleep demands. Because each child is unique, parents must pay close attention to their child’s requirements and alter their schedule and schedule accordingly.
Create a consistent bedtime routine
Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers need routines more than anyone else. According to Woods, the rest of the evening should include light playtime, a bath, brushing teeth, a bedtime story, and finally sleeping.
Aim for a soothing and relaxing routine to create the optimal sleeping environment. At the start of the pattern, your child’s body may begin to go asleep automatically before long.
This is one of the ways to get your child to go to bed. Before going to bed, switch off the TV, computer, tablet, and other screens. These activities are exciting and may make it difficult to fall and remain asleep. Try playing a game, listening to soothing music, playing quietly, and/or dimming the lights instead.
If your child is told it’s time for bed but the rest of the family—especially older siblings—is still up and about, watching videos or talking, he or she may feel excluded and refuse to go to bed. Instead, have your entire family put on pajamas when your child does, putting the entire house in a relaxed mood as bedtime approaches.
Be careful about napping
Excessive napping might disrupt normal bedtimes and sleep quality at night. If your child takes a sleep late after school and then doesn’t seem exhausted when it’s time to go to bed, the nap could be the issue. However, if your child appears exhausted, they may actually be overtired, and you should put them to bed before they become extremely sleepy.
You can try rescheduling the nap, shortening it, or skipping it entirely. If your child appears to be outgrowing his or her nap, try finishing schooling and dinner earlier so that you can try an earlier bedtime. Make sure your child is active and has a busy day on weekends or during the summer so that they are exhausted before sleep.