As a parent, you probably know how precious a good night’s sleep really is. Unfortunately, it may take a while for your children to catch on. In the meantime, make sure you’re prepared!
Getting your kids to finally lie down for the night might seem like an uphill battle. But, with these tips, you’ll be able to reap the sweet victory of a full eight hours of sleep, and help prevent any child sleep problems.
Set a bedtime and stick to itKids need at least nine to ten hours of sleep per night for healthy child development. Unfortunately, an early riser will always rise early – no matter what time they get to bed. With this in mind, be sure to set an individualised bedtime for your little one, and stick with it. It’s the only way to make sure your child gets the sleep they need.
Get your child into a routineRoutines are important – especially when there’s a child involved. Doing specific things before bed, such as bathing and telling a bedtime story, signal to your child what’s coming next: sleep. Psychologically, this conditions your child to prepare themselves for bed. After a while, you’ll find your child will start becoming sleepy as soon as you begin their bedtime routine.
Don’t let TV get in the way of your child’s sleepBe sure to turn the television off at least two hours before bedtime. Studies have shown that the light emitted from a television screen can interfere with the body’s production of the hormone melatonin – an important chemical in the sleep-wake cycle. High melatonin levels result in sleepy little ones. But, just half an hour of TV can disrupt the production of this hormone, keeping your child up for an extra two hours – at least.
Stress can keep your little one up at nightStress releases a hormone called cortisol, which can affect the sleep process. If your child is feeling anxious or stressed, cortisol will make it difficult for your child’s body to “shut down” and prepare for bedtime. To avoid this happening, ensure your kid’s environment is as stress-free as possible before sleep. This means quiet, low lighting and no strenuous activities before bed.
Protect your little one from the things that go bump in the nightTo your kids, the monster hiding under their bed and in the cupboard is very real. So, don’t just ignore their fears, instead address them. Find a special teddy to stand guard at night or put a can of “monster repellent” next to your child’s bed. Even the smallest things can provide a sense of security, ensuring your child is safe from their fear. Feeling safe means your little one will fall asleep more easily.
Use these tips, and we guarantee everyone in the family will be getting more sleep. Do you have any tricks you use to get your little ones to sleep? Let us know in the comments, below.
Make your little one’s bedtime a pleasure with these tips and tricks!