Some nights are harder than other nights for children to fall asleep. Whether they can’t fall asleep or don’t want to, there are steps you can take to help provide the best night sleep possible for them. Read 4 ways to help your children fall asleep below!
Create a Bedtime Routine
Creating a bedtime routine can take the stress out of bedtime for both the parents and the child. Kids thrive off structure because it makes them feel safe. Subtle changes in the evening can be cues your child will notice as signs that bedtime is near. Turning off electronics, dimming the lights, playing quiet music, or having a cup of warm milk are all great ways to teach your child how to unwind after an active day. Promoting activities that help kids relax can include taking a warm bath, putting on pajamas, brushing their teeth, and having story time.
When creating a bedtime routine, consistency is imperative. Consistency allows boundaries and expectations to be set, making kids feel secure. What the routine consists of is not always important as it can always be altered and tailored to fit a child’s needs, but being consistent with the steps you do include in their routine is something that we want to highlight! Quality in steps over quantity is something to consider when coming up with a routine, especially in the beginning.
Provide a Comfortable Sleep Environment
A child’s room should help promote sleep and relaxation. An ideal room set up is to keep their room dark, quiet, and cool. Some kids like to sleep with a nightlight, which can be a great way to get them use to a room with minimal lighting. If they have trouble sleeping in silence, use a sound machine, a fan, or a humidifier to help create a steady, rhythmic sound. A humidifier has the benefit of adding moisture into the air to prevent dryness of the skin, nose, throat, and lips while easing symptoms of illnesses such as the common cold or flu.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating healthy and encouraging regular exercise is not only good for your child’s health and disposition but it also helps them sleep better! Diet and exercise can largely influence the quality of sleep your child gets, so it is important to set a good example by eating healthy and going for family walks if you are able to.
Going to the grocery store with your children can be a subtle way to see what kind of fruits and vegetables they like and can be a way to have them involved in the process. This can be a way to bond with your child over something that is important to their health, helping them create a lifelong habit of eating healthy.
Exercising consistently can help wind kids down at the end of a hectic day. Make sure kids are getting the recommended amount of exercise for their age group and are drinking enough water to replenish their bodies adequality. Getting extra energy out throughout the day can lead to a better night’s sleep at nighttime, so getting up and moving is important!
Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Caffeine can make kids feel wide awake if ingested close before bedtime. If your child is having the occasional soda, make sure it’s spaced out 3 hours before bedtime to prevent a sleepless night from occurring. Non-filling snacks such as fruits and vegetables are a great way to curb hunger and provide a healthy alternative to sugary ones.