Bedtime routines and rituals are very important for most children in establishing positive sleep patterns and in developing a sense of security and stability. In this article, you will learn how to make bedtime a lot easier, as well as find tips to promote connection and calm with your child at the end of the day.
In this post I discuss the following topics:
Your child will benefit from a set bedtime. Pick a time for bed that is reasonable for your child according to their age and which you know you can consistently provide.
Establish a bedtime routine that can provide predictability and a comforting, familiar pattern.
A helps children to sleep better and for longer which means healthier, happier children. Bedtime rituals can be beautiful, powerful ways to bond and connect with your children and become treasured memories for you all. A positive bedtime routine will help teach your child to calm down, relax and get ready to sleep. However, not every technique works for every child. For example, if bathing is stimulating or frightening for your child, it’s probably a better idea to do it at another time of day rather than right before you want your child to calm down and go to sleep.
A bedtime routine involves doing similar activities in a similar way each night. Incorporate activities that you know have a calming effect on your child into their bedtime preparatory routine. Keep the routine short and sweet. It should realistically only consist of four to six steps that can be completed in a reasonable time frame, not drawn out into hours on end each night. Even creating an understandable and structured visual pattern (a simple poster with pictures of each bedtime activity in order) can assist this process and can provide reminders and consistency for the whole family.
There are those nights or times when circumstances prevent your child from getting to bed at their usual time. Be sure not to shortchange the process when this happens, but keep in mind that each step can be shortened significantly in order to prevent long frustrations at a time when everyone is tired.
Whatever you do during your bedtime routine, remember to be consistent. Try your best to make the routine predictable and enjoyable for you and your child. Stick to a regular time slot each evening and use that time to connect with your child at the end of their day. Consciously being responsive to your child’s emotional and developmental needs for connection and play during the bedtime routine, will not only make bedtime easier for all involved, it will also allow you to end the night on a positive note.
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.