Establishing routines is a part of human nature, and a good routine is especially important when it comes to bedtime.
Getting your child into a routine is often one of the hardest parts of parenting. The bedtime struggle of a wide awake or overly tired tot is exhausting for everyone involved, but perseverance is key.
Every child is different and should be treated as such, but nevertheless we’ve come up with a handful of tips that most families can reap the benefits from:
Releasing energy Going to bed still full of beans is a recipe for disaster. After an evening meal it’s always worth letting little ones have 20 or 30 minutes of playtime to get all that energy out of their system in good time before bed.
Bathing Going to bed feeling clean and fresh is a great feeling. Children often end up in places they shouldn’t be and get covered in all sorts throughout the day, from mud to pen.
Washing the dirt of the day off with warm soapy water and giving those teeth a good brush will not only make children feel more comfortable, it will also relax the body and signify the end of a hard day.
Pyjamas There’s nothing nicer than getting into a fluffy pair of pj’s. You might find that having a snug pair of pyjamas to get into will make your child more inclined to get ready for bed which is always a win.
Story time For adults and children alike, a great way to wind down is with a good book. Reading your child a short story in a soft and gentle voice will continue to calm them and hopefully send them into a sweet slumber.
Pick out their favourites and try new things. Alternatively, poems and rhymes are also a good option if reading isn’t quite your child’s thing.
As they get older, children can eventually start to read themselves to sleep; thus improving their literacy skills at the same time.
Stick to timings It’s unrealistic to stick rigidly to the same timings every night, but aiming roughly for similar times to have each part of your child’s bedtime routine complete is an essential part of establishing a routine.
The human body is excellent at remembering and learning new habits, so doing things at the same time is an excellent way of training the body.
Minimise screen time Prior to going to bed, limiting screen time is vital. Many studies have shown that looking at a screen can make the brain feel more awake, so avoiding the television and computers roughly an hour before bed is ideal.
Do you have any tips for encouraging a good bedtime routine in early years? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share your favourite tricks with fellow parents.
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