One of the biggest parenting struggles is getting your children to settle into a regular bedtime.
While most children will simply go off to bed without complaint, some children just don’t want to go to bed! This can disrupt their sleeping pattern, leaving them tired and bad-tempered in the day.
Most children don’t want playtime to end – this leaves to the inevitable request of ‘just five more minutes, mum!”, soon those extra 5 minutes can build to half an hour – causing your child to stay up much later than they should be.
Whether you have a toddler or young child who is a fussy sleeper, follow these tips to help send them off to sleep night after night:
Structure their bedtime
Providing your kids with a regular routine before bed will help them to ease into the pattern of going to bed. This pattern could involve playtime, then a bath and then you could read to your child. A good idea is to read to them when they are already tucked into their bed.
Turn on the Nightlight
One of the most common reasons that children don’t want to go to sleep is because they are scared of the dark. We’ve all heard the ‘There’s a monster under my bed!’ plea before sending our kids off to sleep – installing a nightlight is sure to make your kids feel much more comfortable and braver in their bedrooms.
Choose Themed Beds
To make bedtime feel more like playtime, why not treat your child to a themed bed. Mid sleeper beds come in a number of fun themes, and as the bed is lifted from the floor, the underneath provides plenty of storage as well as play space. Some mid sleeper beds even come with slides, this will make kids look forward to going to sleep – because they will be able to slide right out of bed in the morning!
Avoid any Sugary Snacks
Before bedtime it is best to make sure that you leave a few hours between letting your child have any sugary snacks or caffeine, as sugar and caffeine are likely to make your child active – meaning that sleep is the last thing on their mind. Encourage healthy snacks an hour or two before bed as this will allow time for the food to digest and not affect their sleep.
Start a Sleep Reward System
If your child continues to stay up late night after night, one way of promoting sleep to them is to set up a sleep reward system. Award stars to your child for every night that they go to sleep on time without fuss, once they have so many stars in a row you can reward your child with a treat.