Kids need sleep. Let’s face it, parents need kids to sleep!
I often have parents complain to me that their children won’t go to bed nicely. They call for an extra kiss or for a drink of water. Some need to go to the bathroom again, others want to sleep in their parents’ bed instead of their own. While there is no magic solution for every child, here are four things that have worked well for many families.
Simple Routine. Keep the same routine and the same order each night so that it becomes a habit. If you can keep the routine at the same time each evening, this will help to reinforce bedtime and induce sleepiness in your child.
Stick to the same bedtime each night, or as close to the same time, as possible.
Start a little earlier. 10- 15 minutes can make a huge difference in a routine. If you are not feeling rushed, it can be a nice, calm bedtime routine which helps everyone to relax and be ready to sleep.
Wake child up 15 minutes earlier. My aunt used to tell me if I wanted my daughter to go to sleep earlier then I should start waking her up earlier in the morning. Unfortunately, for me, my daughter was a morning person and I had a hard enough time waking up at 5:30AM to entertain her as it was. As she’s gotten older, this tip has worked very well, especially when we’re getting ready for the beginning of the school year or getting ready to travel.
Give these ideas a try and let me know how they worked for you. Do you have any other tips or hints that help bedtime run smoothly for your family? I’d love to hear about them.