There are some nights when your child feels sleepy and easily surrenders to bedtime, but other nights, you might as well be putting the Tasmanian devil to bed. Under these circumstances, it’s beneficial to incorporate some relaxing nighttime activities into your routine to get your child ready for bed.
Here’s how you can help your child feel relaxed when bed time comes around. We also encourage you to talk with your child about calming things they’d like to add into your bedtime routine.
Put Them To Sleep With A Bedtime Story Or Lullaby
One of the best ways to relax your child before bed is with a nice bedtime story or a classic lullaby, like you probably remember your own parents doing with you as a kid when they were tucking you in.
Reading to your child at an early age is not only relaxing, but it promotes literacy and language development and gives you and your child a chance to bond. Professionals say you can start as early as birth, and keep going until around the age of 12.
Singing a lullaby, on the other hand, doesn’t hold any educational value, but researchers from Harvard Medical School found that it’s a good way to make your child feel safe and relaxed.
Set Up A Comfortable Sleep Environment
The most beautiful lullaby or sleepiest bedtime story won’t be as effective at making your child feel calm if they aren’t in a cozy sleep setting. Double check that the temperature of their bedroom isn’t too hot or cold – think goldilocks – you want it just right.
Also, if your child’s room isn’t already stuffed to the brink with them, stuffed animals are helpful because they relieve anxiety and make your child feel more at ease when you eventually do leave the room.
Lastly, make sure they’re sleeping on a soft, comfortable mattress suitable for kids. Since most children don’t weigh much, anything firmer than a “medium” firmness mattress might feel too firm for them since they don’t exert a lot of pressure into the bed.
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Enjoy Bath Time
If you’re a fan of taking baths, you know how relaxing it feels to soak in a warm tub after a long day. Although your child’s days likely aren’t as grueling as yours, baths can be just as relaxing for them, so try not to rush through it. Instead, use this time to wind down their hyperactive thoughts and get them in the proper mindset for bedtime.
Discuss Their Nighttime Fears
Children have wild imaginations, and those imaginations tend to run rampant at nighttime with thoughts of scary monsters hiding in the shadows of their closet or underneath their bed. Accordingly, it’s important to address these fears before they try to go to sleep, rather than writing them off as nothing. Remind your child how brave and courageous they are, and encourage them to think of happy thoughts like playing with puppies and kittens or swinging at the playground.
Cut Off Electronic Use Close To Bed
Electronic use will certainly become a problem as your child gets older and they’re introduced to more devices. Electronics make it harder for someone to relax for bed because the continuous wave of notifications keeps your brain stimulated and on high alert.
The blue light from the screen also has a negative impact on your sleep because it can halt your body’s natural production of melatonin and throw off your body’s circadian rhythm. As a rule of thumb, kids should stay away from electronics for about an hour and a half before bed.
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McKenzie Dillon is a blogger and sleep enthusiast for The Slumber Yard, a leading online mattress reviews website. When she’s not sleeping, McKenzie likes attending comedy shows, hiking and cooking.
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