Parents know best how sweet sleep can be, since they miss out on so much of it when raising kids. If only they could get the kind of quality sleep that they need.
Meanwhile, young kids wage bedtime wars every night, desperate to stay awake and do what they want. If only kids could understand that they need good sleep and enough of it. How can the whole family rest well now?
Our team at Ecosa understands how stressful and difficult it can be. It’s likely your child may be struggling in their own way too. The best way to counteract these sleep issues is to develop or refine your child’s bedtime routine.
Bedtime routines encourage good sleep habits
Parents and children can come to enjoy better sleep as long as a regular bedtime routine is established. A nightly routine helps immensely to wind the body and mind down for rest, leading to a more refreshing sleep. The next morning, both you and your kids will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.
“Why are you still up?”
First things first, before introducing a new routine you need to be in the right mindset. All parents would know how much patience is needed when introducing something new to kids.. Introducing new sleep patterns will need even more patience. Sleep problems vary, and you can work with your child to overcome those issues.
“I can’t sleep”
This is a common complaint from kids, so you need to understand why they’re not sleeping. Your child might be feeling anxious or worried about something.
Try talking to them about it and getting them to tell you what has been running through their heads. Depending on their age it could be school related. Younger children often have nighttime fears, especially when they have just started sleeping in their own beds.
At other times, your child can easily fall asleep but just as easily wake up in the middle of the night. Nightmares and bedwetting are common causes of waking up. Spend time with your kid to calm them down, change the sheets if needs be, and make them feel safe and secure until sleep takes over again.
“I’m not tired”
Another reason your little one is up is that they want more playtime or screen time. They could have napped for too long during the day, meaning they want to stay up later and are still wide awake. Of course, some kids are simply being stubborn, and you may have to teach them self-control.
How parents and children can have a good night
These may be the most common reasons why children struggle to sleep at night, but there can be other causes. You can find that out for yourself, and once you know, you can begin developing or updating your child’s bedtime routine.
Start with the daytime routine
Children, much like adults, have their own schedules during the day. They play, they learn, they explore, and they nap. Parents know their children’s routine by heart, but you might have to pay closer attention to their napping or energy levels.
Younger children need as much sleep as they can get, both during the day by napping and at night. Older children need rest too, but they no longer need naps and rather have more calm and relaxing time.
Consider their sleep space
Once your child’s daytime routine has been monitored, you can now think about their bedroom. Being alone on their own bed, both small and bid kids may feel scared, worried, or anxious about something such as the dark, a storm, or an unpleasant experience. They might also wake up through the night due to a nightmare.
Talk to them about their fears and be there to reassure that everything is okay. Leaving a light night on can appease their fears, as well as creating a safe and comforting space in their bedroom.
Wearing out energetic kids through play and activities is a great way to prepare them for a deep night sleep. To further pull the child to sleep, you can make it a rule not to use electronic gadgets in the bedroom. Blue light from smartphones, tablets, computers, and game consoles will keep a child’s mind awake for hours.
Address the cause of sleep problems
After you have optimised your child’s room for sleep, you can now move on to the main event: the bedtime routine. Whether fears, pent up energy, or stubbornness are keeping your child awake, a bedtime routine can lessen the number of battles you have to fight on a nightly basis.
You can begin by setting a reasonable time for lights out. From that time, wind back an hour or an hour and a half to find your children’s prep period for bed. Do the showers or baths, brushing teeth and the telling of a bedtime story during this time. Depending on their age, you can sing them a song to get them to sleep, or you can simply talk too and enjoy each other’s company.
You can even cuddle up if your child is open to that. Cuddling may bring even more comfort and relaxation to a young child. When you decide to leave, you can replace your body with a stuffed animal. Your child will still have something to hold on to then and feel safe.
Take steps from morning until evening for better sleep
By monitoring daytime napping, optimising the bedroom, and creating a routine for your child to follow, you will be able to address most, if not all, of the reasons which keep your child up at night. You can then have the sleep you have always sought as a parent, and your child can sleep soundly at the right time.