Bedtime is critical for a healthy life. This is true for adults but especially true for kids, who need more sleep to grow and develop. The number of hours, however, is not the only thing that you should consider when it comes to their bedtime; the routine is important as well. A consistent bedtime routine means that your kids can sleep more deeply on an ongoing basis – and you can as well.
Setting this routine up as soon as possible and adapting it to suit your child’s age is so important. A good night’s rest immediately improves the next day, so use these tips to help you build the perfect bedtime routine for your kids.
Create a Routine and Stick to It
Your bedtime routine should go beyond a sleep-time and a wake-up time. The activities you do around sleep also matter. For example, a great way to get kids to sleep on time, every time is to perform the same activities in the same order before bed. An hour before they are due for bed you can have them change, brush their teeth and wash their face, and then you can sit down and read for the rest of the time.
Try to Reduce or Eliminate Blue-White Light After Dark
Whatever your routine consists of try to stay away from the blue-white light of electronics, as this can work to wake up their brains, rather than put them to sleep. Ideally you will want to eliminate these types of light as soon as the sun sets. What this means is that, more often than not, you aren’t going to want to watch televisions, look at your phone, or go on a computer after dark. Use this time to instead engage with your family and other non-electronic activities from reading to playing games.
Have a Plan on How to Deal with Bedtime Tantrums?
Once a routine is settled, tantrums and fuss should die down because your kids know what to expect and, more importantly, their circadian rhythm is more likely to be on your side. Even with routine, however, a toddler screaming at bedtime is still a common occurrence. If they are geared up too much before bed or if something exciting happens a bedtime tantrum is possible. They may not want to go to bed, but at the same time are crankier than usual because they are tired. It is challenging to manage, but with the right approach you can both get through the tantrum and get on with bedtime as normal. One good thing about a tantrum, after all, is that they are exhausting.
Wake Them Up With Water and Stretches
You want their internal clock to work with you, and part of that means waking up at the same time every day as well. A good way for your kids (and yourself) to wake up is to drink a glass of water, do some stretches, and then go make some breakfast as a family. This rehydrates you and gets the blood circulating, which in turn can reduce crankiness in the morning and also gives you both the chance to wake up more calmly in the mornings.