Friday, 30 January 2015

Top tips on getting your child to go to bed

It’s definitely one of the hardest tasks facing any parent – how to get your children to go to bed!

We all know the procedure. The whole family has had a lovely day out, followed by a nice dinner and a relaxing evening. But as soon as nightfall approaches, your child suddenly develops an extra fuel tank of energy and will do just about anything to avoid going to bed.

It’s an infuriating situation as undoubtedly it’s you who will feel exhausted and ready for sleep. So how do you resolve this dilemma? Here are a few tips.

Diet

 

It’s very important to consider what you are feeding your child, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

Caffeine is obviously a big no-no, and it’s also important to remove any association that may have been built between milk or food and falling asleep.

 

 Sleep is a reward

 


It’s a good idea to try and make the idea of sleeping as attractive as possible. So rather than making the bedroom the equivalent of a prison, try and think of a few ways to make bedtime fun.

This can be something as simple as allowing a good hour of wind-down time such as a bedtime story. And it’s also important to make sure that the bedroom environment is friendly and relaxed too. So make sure that your child has a nice and comfortable bed, and think about installing a dim nightlight to ensure that they don’t get the night terrors!

Routine

Young children are pretty smart and will quickly pick up a routine. So rather than surprising them with the sudden threat of bedtime, it’s good to have a sequence of events as a nightly routine.

The Sleep Council recommend that your child keeps regular sleeping hours, as this is good way to program their brains with natural sleeping and waking times.

So with this in mind, a nice warm bath before bed will signal the arrival of bedtime in a far more pleasant way, and will also make sure that your child’s body is at a restful temperature.

Things to avoid

 



It’s becoming increasingly apparent that technological devices such as smartphones and tablets are having an adverse reaction on our sleeping patterns. So make sure your child has no screen time at least an hour before bed.

And try to establish your child’s bedroom as being primarily a sleeping zone. You can do this by removing distractions and perhaps installing some decent blackout curtains, and investing in a device that plays soft, continuous music to mask out any disruptive noises.

* Disclaimer: This post was written by Ken Severn

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