Shannon’s Bedtime Tips

  1. Routine, Routine, Routine – set a bedtime routine and stick with it.  Consistency is key.  This is so crucial.  A child’s head can be wired to get sleepy by this routine.  Once the routine starts, his brain signals to his body that it is bedtime.  And sleepiness commences.
  2. Set a bedtime – this may sound elementary, my dear Watson, but you have no idea how many parents just let their kids crash whenever.  A bedtime is so important.  Again, their little bodies can be wired to fall asleep at a certain time, if that is what they are used to.  Good bedtimes for the little tykes are between seven and 8:30.  As they get older you can stretch it out to nine or ten.  But even my teenage boys try to be in bed by 10:30.
  3. Hold the sugary drinks and snacks after six o’clock – Seriously.  No kid needs pop or sugar after six.  It honestly does keep them up.
  4. Give them a warm, calm bath – it does set the tone for settling down for bed, and can make a child sleepy.  Not to mention, the cleanliness and quality time together are great too!
  5. Have a light, healthy snack – kids sleep better on a full tummy.
  6. Dim the household lights – it sends a signal to the brain that things are calming down now.
  7. Turn off the TV – or any other media device.  It is good to do this an hour or so before bed.  There is a lot of research on the effects that “screen time” has on little brains.  Do not let your child fall asleep to a movie.  (I am so, so guilty of this one!)
  8. Read a book – or two, or three.
  9. Play some soft music/sing a song – music also sets the tone and can signal to the brain that it is bedtime.  Plus, it drowns out any outside noise from the rest of the house.
  10. Say bedtime prayers – if you are a praying family, it is just a good habit to get in to.  Plus, if it is part of the bedtime routine, it signals to the child’s brain that it is time to get sleepy….
  11. Have a little quiet, snuggle time – everyone likes to fill loved and valued.  There is no better way to end the day than with snuggles, kisses and hugs from those who love you.
  12. Put your child to bed awake – it is so important that he learns to fall asleep on his own.  For more information on this, read “Sleep….it’s Overrated”.

 

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