5 Easy Ways to Help Your Kids Get to Sleep (Fast and Fun!)
It’s official: kids are Jedi masters at delaying sleep. Luckily, our tips for creating the right routine will help you to banish those bedtime battles and ease their trip to dreamland.
“Ahh, bedtime. Truly, one of the joys of parenting.” — No Parent, Ever
Anyone who has ever experienced the bedtime war zone with their precious offspring will be all too familiar with these battles. And the thousands of tactics that kids use each night to put off bedtime.
There's always one last drink/hug/pee/question about the meaning of life, the universe and everything... Then they can't possibly sleep without their teddy bear. And, of course, there is always the classic fallback of the sudden strange pain in their elbow or some other obscure part of the body.
It's enough to make anybody weep.
All you want is to tuck them in and exit quietly. Then, you can enjoy the one small portion of the day that is all your own before you have to hit the hay yourself.
The really hard part? Aside from craving some alone time, you also know your children need to sleep. While they are peacefully snoozing, their bodies are busy with the important business of growing and developing.
“Ahh, bedtime. Truly, one of the joys of parenting.”
— No Parent, Ever
But what are you meant to do when they Just. Won't. Go. To. Bed?!
Hey, we hear you. Don't despair. Short of brandy in a sippy cup (kidding), there are some things you can do to ease their trip to dreamland.
The right bedtime routine for children
Just like adults, children benefit from a good bedtime routine. It helps to prep their bodies and minds for some solid shut eye. Follow the steps below to help them on their way to sweet dreams every night.
1. Watch the post-dinner snacking
Sleep is usually easier when we've given our digestive system time to do its thing. Kids can be epic snackers, so be careful that they're not filling up right before bed. You don't want them to go hungry of course, so if dinner isn't quite enough to feed growing little bodies… Just make sure that any additional snacks are eaten well before bedtime. Lead with healthy options like fruits, veggies, or whole grains — and keep the sweets locked up tight.
2. Say no to screens
Tech can be a great tool for learning and entertainment, but it's lousy for getting your kiddos to sleep. Staring at that blue light right before bed fires up their brains and makes getting to those vital REM sleep cycles really tough. Focus on analog activities before sleepytime that strike a balance between soothing and stimulating. (Oh, and it's the same for us grown ups — so we should put our devices down, too!)
3. Practice relaxing
Having the kids bouncing off the walls is not going to get them in the mood for sleep. Instead, set a quieter tone pre-bedtime. Turn the lights down around the house, turn off the TV, put on some mellow tunes, take a bath... You know the drill. The things that help relax you for bed can help your children to unwind, too.
4. Snuggle up with a story
Spending twenty minutes with a good story before bed each night can work wonders. It also helps to reinforce the tranquility of bedtime, and they will cherish the quiet time with you. Picture books are perfect for tots, while chapter books keep the older kids interested night after night. And, while your trashy romance novels are perfect on a kindle or iPad, stick to good old fashioned paper books with the kids. Devices can become a distraction, especially if they know that Candy Crush is just one swipe or click away from that story you’re reading.
5. Have a set bedtime
At the end of every bedtime routine is the moment when you actually hit the sack. Naturally, the right bedtime will depend on the age of your child and how much sleep they need. The most important factor: sticking to the same time each night. Just like adults, kids benefit from a regular sleep schedule so that they stay in sync with their internal body clock.
Naturally, the right bedtime will depend on the age of your child and how much sleep they need. The most important factor: sticking to the same time each night.
The Right Bedtime (And Bed) for Your Kids
So, you've got your routine in place — but what your kids are sleeping on counts too. Especially once your kids are older, a good mattress can make a big difference in the kind of sleep they're getting. Pro tip: look for a mattress made from high quality, natural materials that are built to last. It just so happens we can help you with that… At Sleep365, we make luxurious yet affordable organic mattresses that you won’t replace until they’re leaving for college.
Everyone has different body types, sleep styles, sleep issues, sleep needs. This applies to our children just as much as adults. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a sure-fire way to get your kiddos to sleep. (Those hundreds of hilarious bedtime memes exist for a reason!)
Most importantly, set the right tone and consistently follow a routine to set your kids up to get more of the good sleep they need, night after night after night. Oh, and get you more of that quiet time you deserve, too. Win-win!