Sleepy Time rituals! How to get better zzzzzs for your children and sleep well yourself!
Sleep – it’s all important for all of us and (yes, yes, we hear the sleep-deprived new parents agreeing with this!!) more so for growing babies, toddlers, and young ones. It is also essential to sleep more or less at the same time and get a certain number of hours of sleep, depending on the age of the child. While some babies sleep well from day one, others take a little longer to settle into everyday routines.
However, there are some things that we can do to ensure that we set them on a path to better sleep and build a routine. Many studies have substantiated the need for sleep routines. Reducing the use of screen time very close to sleep time is a universal recommendation for kids (and even adults). Any activities that can agitate the brain are best avoided including physically stimulating games. Yet, some play can be soothing like maybe building a puzzle together.
In fact, you should make your own bedtime rituals for every child based on what their interests are! Some kids might get soothed and calm with lullabies while others may prefer to hear a story, little ones may need to be carried a little while some may need a warm drink. Even dinner time with family can be a signal to slow down and get ready for sleep.
While every child will have their routines, here is a template that will help you set up a good one for your child.
Dinner – Most families these days are busy during the day, and a meal together is an excellent time to talk about the day and catch up. A simple, nutritious meal along with interesting conversation can help set bedtime in motion.
Bath – We often start the day with a bath, but a child who has crawled on the floor, climbed trees, played in the grass, played ball deserves to have a bath and clean clothes before bed. It helps to sleep better.
Bedtime clothes – Can be just a set of old favorites or actual pajamas with favorite characters. Clean and comfortable with no pokey buttons and bows are good.
Play a quiet game. Build a puzzle. Play with blocks or just cuddle a favorite toy.
Have a chat. If there is any spillover from the dinner conversation, this is the time to catch it. Helps kids get their minds clear from what may be appealing, confusing or troubling them.
Read a bedtime story. Stories are a great way to end the day. It also encourages reading as they get older. So grab a book right before the ZZZZZs.
Sing a song. Music, just via a lullaby, or only in the background might soothe some children.
Turn down the lights, even if you do not want to turn them off.
If you customize these rituals and follow them regularly, it will signal the start to a restful night. A good night’s sleep is crucial to growth. We would love to know what your sleepy time ritual! Happy zzzzzzzzzs!!