Restful Remedies: Bedtime Routines for Your Child

September 24, 2013  |  

Why is it that mothers chase sleep and children run from it? It’s an age-old challenge that mothers face around the globe. There is a very small, very special group of children in the world who are born with the ability to sleep through the night. For the millions other children on the planet, mothers have to devise a plan of action. Here are some surefire ways to make bedtime a success in your home for your little one (up to age 3).

Consistency is key. None of what you read here will work if you are not consistent. Your child’s bedtime routine must be the same every night. This includes the weekends at first. After the pattern is solid, there can be some deviation from the pattern occasionally.

Timing is essential! Start the bedtime routine at the same time each night. If you want your child to be sleeping by 8:30pm, start the routine at 7pm or 7:30pm.

Food for the journey. A satisfied tummy is a great way to keep little ones from stirring a night. Dinner without the TV is very helpful.; it begins decrease their interest in being playful.

Bathe & Moisturize! Following dinner with a bath is a splendid idea! A warm bath with lavender or eucalyptus scented baby wash will help to settle their senses. After the bath, give your child a gentle massage as you moisturize their skin with soothing body lotion. Continue to have TVs off and other stimulating devices like tablets and toys put away. Be sure to bring your child from the bath into the room they will be sleeping in. If you can, it is helpful to dim the lights just before bath time.

Read & Recline. Once your little one is in her pajamas, place her in her crib or bed for a bedtime story. Pull up a chair or sit on the floor next to the bed and a read a short story. Have another short book ready in case the first one wasn’t enough for your little learner. Read in a low and soft tone even if you’re animating your voice through the story. Once reading is over, keep your child in the bed. If she needs to be touched or ask to be held, offer your hand for them to hold as they fall asleep. Try not to rock, rub or pat your child as they learn their sleep routine. Remember you’re trying to teach them to be comfortable with going to sleep without the help of outside stimulation.

If you are able to follow this routine daily, you will find that it will become shorter as the days go by. Dimmed lights, no TV, bathing and a book will all become natural triggers to alert your child’s internal clock that it’s time to sleep. Try not to be discouraged if you find yourself repeating this routine for weeks before your child no longer puts up a fight. That is expected and results will vary based on your child’s temperament and the environmental factors in your home.

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