A tired child can often be a grumpy child. And a grumpy child can lead to grumpy and worn out parents. Sleep is essential, especially for children. Today, I’m going to cover ways for you to facilitate getting your kids to sleep and to stay asleep, through the night.
If you can get your kids to go to bed at the same time every day, half the battle of getting them to sleep through the night is already won. An irregular bedtime schedule, on the other hand, can lend itself to sporadic sleep. Make sure when choosing a bedtime that you know when your child is expected to get up, and then count the hours backward to when they should go to bed. For example, an 8-year-old will need at least 10 hours sleep. If your 8-year-old needs to get up for school by 7 AM make sure that they go to bed by 9 PM or a bit sooner to give them time actually to fall asleep. Try to stick to a schedule, and you will reap the rewards of quiet nights of consistent sleep.
A tired child is going to sleep better than a child who hasn’t done much physical activity throughout the day. Make sure that your child is getting plenty of physical play and movement each day. By the end of a day filled with lots of activity, you may just find your little one sleeping on the couch as you carry them off to bed. Keep them active for their own good, and for a restful night’s sleep.
Plenty of Fresh Air and Sunshine
Have you ever been to the beach all day or up on a mountaintop hiking? For me, sleep just comes naturally after being in the sun. The same holds true for children. A little sun and fresh air really does do a body good. Try to help your kids get some every day. Even in the winter, 10 minutes or so of outside play can help your child to sleep better later.
Low Sugar Before Bed
We’ve all heard this before, no sugar close to bedtime. Sugar can make a calm kid start to bounce off the walls. Even if their body is tired, a child can become a new being late at night after pop and candy. Cut out all refined sugars before bed. Instead of food with sugar, give them warm milk or a banana. Bananas can help to induce sleep. Some teas, such as chamomile also can help put children to sleep naturally. But most importantly, keep them away from any sugars in the evening.
Calm It Down
As bedtime draws near, try to involve your children in quiet and calming activities. Reading, coloring, or gentle play activities all can lead to getting a body ready to sleep for the night. Avoid letting kids run around and get too excited as the day draws to a close. Some kids just don’t want to quit. If they are playing with their siblings in a game of house tag, they most likely aren’t going to want to stop. Slowly ease into sleep time with calm end of day activities.
Cut Back On Naptimes
Did you ever take a long nap and then want to stay up late watching movies or finishing projects? I know I have. A body simply only needs so much sleep a day. If your child is napping during the day, that will cut down on the amount of time that they need to sleep at night. Now, with that being said, naps are good for your child. Just keep in mind that they won’t need to sleep as much at night. If you need them to sleep longer at night, try cutting back on naptime.
A warm bath can do wonders to calm and relax a body down. A bath at the end of the day can make your child sleepy. Try putting lavender bath salts in the water to facilitate a calm atmosphere further. Allow some bath playtime until the water starts to get too cold. Towel them off, put comfy pajamas on, and off to bed they go.
A bedtime story will help get your child excited about getting into bed. Sometimes getting a child into bed is half the battle. Once they are in bed, you can read them some stories. Personally, I’d avoid scary stories, but each child is different, so you will know what your child likes before bed. Don’t be afraid to reread the same favorite story. Though it may get boring and old to you, children can thrive on predictability, and many like to hear their favorite stories read by their favorite person. Enjoy bedtime stories together. It really should help put your child to sleep.
Realize That Every Child Is Different
Some children thrive on quiet reading before bed, while others might like to turn out the room lights and make flashlight silhouette animals on the wall with their hands. Find what works best for each child and go for it. Even in the same household, what works for one, might not necessarily work for another.
Getting a child to sleep through the night can be natural, or it might be a challenge you have to struggle with every day. I’ve given some ideas and tips to get your child to sleep through the night in this article. I hope some of these ideas will help your household. Find what works and go from there.
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