Bedtime routines for children of all ages
Sleeping is important for the development of our children as it plays a crucial role in learning and memory, emotional regulation, and it is related with brain structure development. This is why all parents want to do their best when it comes to establishing healthy sleeping habits for their precious young ones.
Babies need a bedtime routine from the minute they are born.
This way they can begin to distinguish day from night. A soothing bedtime routine is a great opportunity for quality time with your baby but remember that you’ll be doing this for quite some time so try to keep it simple. The routine could consist of some steps like feeding them, having a warm bath and a massage, singing a lullaby and putting them to bed with a goodnight kiss. Make sure to create a calm atmosphere by dimming the lights in the room. It can be helpful to keep a similar routine as your baby gets older.
Toddlers will also need a bedtime routine and you will have to be firm about it in order for it to work.
You’ll have to be very consistent about the time it starts and the time it ends (you can even use a clock and show your child that the time has come) because separation anxiety can make it hard for your child to let you go. Try to avoid screen time before bed and keep the lights in the room dim. Begin after the night meal with a bath, brush your teeth together, read a book and say goodnight with some hugs and kisses.
Preschoolers and school-age children
Children at this age can have a say at what their bedtime routine consists of.
After going to the bathroom, having a warm bath and brushing your teeth they can pick their favorite book and ask you to read it to them or you can both talk about how you spent your day. Remember that in order to relax you have to create a soothing environment and tidying up the room will help to that end. Also try to avoid too much excitement and stimulation before bedtime like really loud and fun games as they can make sleeping harder. Instead try calmer activities that will help your children wind down like reading.
Older children and teenagers
Older children and teenagers may not need any help going to sleep.
If they do, however, some relaxing things that will help them relax are
- taking a bath
- listening to music
- or reading a book.
Also remember to spend some time together before turning the lights off and setting an alarm clock for the morning wake-up time.
Some days are more stressful than others and sometimes our children, like us, go through rough times.
In cases like these we need to be empathetic, listen to them, and cuddle a little longer or help them get through with relaxing techniques adults use like thinking about things that make us calm or even trying guided meditation to sleep.
These are just some ideas! Every parent knows what works for their children best so try establishing your own bedtime routine for your children and stick to it for better results.