No matter the age of your child, sometimes getting them to go to sleep in a timely manner can be a battle. They either can’t sleep for some reason, or don’t want to sleep because there are things to do! And who wants to sleep whenever you can play and explore anyway? Still, bedtime doesn’t have to be a massive pain and there are several different ways to get your kids to fall asleep with minimal fuss.
If you want some of the best ways to send your child to dreamland, then read on and see what this article can do for you!
Additionally, if you notice changes in your child’s sleep patterns, such as increased nighttime awakenings or difficulty falling asleep, it might be helpful to explore potential signs of sleep regression. You can find more information on sleep regression signs in this insightful article on the Nested Bean Zen Blog: sleep regression signs.
1. Allow Them Some Freedom In Their Routine
Some kids need a nighttime routine, some simply want to do certain activities, and others just want some control. Allowing your kids to have their own rewards built into their nighttime routine is something that can make them want to go to bed on time. If your children do all the things you ask them to do and get in bed, then they can have a treat.
The treat can be anything from a bedtime story to a tv show to some music, but it should be something that both relaxes them and also entertains them. Additionally, for older kids, giving them a say on when they want to go to bed is a way to make them sleep on their own schedule.
2. Cool Down The Room
Our bodies have adapted to sleep whenever it is cool out, so by turning down the temperature of the bedroom and making your kids feel a little cold, it makes the warm and soft bed seem all the more inviting, and they will want to curl up in it and naturally fall asleep. Cooling the room also works if you plan to darken the room as well, because the less light we get inside of the bedroom, the better it will be for the child.
We evolved to sleep when it was cold and dark, if your child is in a light filled and warm room it doesn’t mean that going to sleep is impossible, but it won’t be as easy as being in an environment that naturally stimulates sleep.
3. Avoid Sugar and Caffeine In The Afternoon
Sometimes the very thing that is stopping us from falling asleep in the evening are the habits that we do in the afternoon. Drinking coffee, eating too much sugar, and having too big or too rich a meal close to bedtime can stop our bodies from properly falling asleep in the evening.
While these things are okay for most children in moderation, they should avoid having too much during the afternoon hours leading up to bedtime. Instead they should be eating light foods that are designed to either not disturb the body during sleep or foods that will actively help the body relax and fall asleep.
4. Teach Them To Avoid Naps
While every person needs a good nap every once in a while, whenever a nap becomes a habit it can interfere with your child’s sleep schedule. If your child is six years of age or younger, then a nap can be beneficial because they need that extra sleep and it shouldn’t have too much of an effect on their bodies.
However, for older children, too long of a nap or a napping habit can mess with their quality of sleep and can cause them to enter a vicious cycle. They nap for too long in the afternoon so they get less quality sleep in the evening, then in the morning they are tired and decide they need an afternoon nap… and so on.
The occasional nap or power nap is perfectly fine and won’t throw everything off if your child does it, but napping too much will cause a lot of problems around bedtime. Getting off that habit will be essential to getting better sleep.
5. Use Medication
While you don’t want your child to overly rely on medication such as melatonin, kids sleep spray, or other pills to fall asleep, they can be helpful if the natural remedies for sleep have failed. If your child is having trouble falling asleep, using medication to make them drowsy at a certain time will allow for you to teach your child’s body when it is time to go to sleep.
Just make sure to use the right dosage and eventually start to wean your child off of it so they can go to sleep naturally.
Sleep Doesn’t Have To Be A Struggle
By putting a little effort into sleeping and getting your child to go to sleep, then you can ensure that your kid will have a perfect sleep schedule. Plus, if your child is sleeping, then you can sleep too!