We all know how important it is to get a healthy night’s sleep, but for children, getting enough sleep is crucial to their physical and mental development. Whether they’re begging to stay up late or refusing to spend the whole night in their own bed, it can often be tricky getting your little one the quality of sleep they need.
Luckily once my two are asleep, they generally now stay asleep. There’s the occasional night of growing pains, sickness or a toilet trip, but for the majority once they’re out for the count, they’re out.
Our problem lies in getting them to sleep!
Reuben will go to sleep for my husband Ben, but not if I put him to bed, so we’ve decided Ben will do his bedtime story until he’s a little older. Bella will keep getting out of bed if I don’t stay with her until she’s nearly asleep. It’s a habit I’d quite like to break as I’d like her to learn to go to sleep by herself.
A bed time routine can definitely play a huge part in children getting a good night’s sleep and drifting off a little easier.
Take a look at these easy tips on the ways you can help your child get a relaxing night’s rest:
Cut out electronics before bed
Any use of electronic devices before bedtime can have a big impact on your child’s sleep quality, causing the brain to be too stimulated for a restful sleep.
Cut out TV, iPads or video games about an hour or so before your child is due to sleep, and keep electronic appliances such as alarm clocks or baby monitors as far from their bed as possible.
Prepare a night time snack
Giving your child a small snack before bedtime can play a part in creating a relaxing night time routine.
Steer clear of foods containing a large amount of sugar, and instead go for snacks containing carbohydrates and protein such as 100% peanut butter on wholemeal toast. This kind of food contains amino acids that create the chemical tryptophan that’s been known to induce sleepiness.
Drinks of warm oat milk and fruit such as bananas can also aid sleep. They are also a good way to add some more nutrients to your child’s diet.
Help them wind down
The key to a great sleep is creating a relaxing bedtime routine for your little one.
Start with a warm bath followed by some comfortable pyjamas and a bedtime story snuggled together in their cabin bed. Keep your tone of voice and the atmosphere of the room soft and peaceful, perhaps playing some quiet music in the background.
Another great way to help your child unwind is to try out kids’ yoga, with light stretches to relax their muscles and prepare them for bedtime. You can find childrens yoga videos for bedtime on YouTube.
Create a relaxing environment
In order to make your child feel more comfortable in their bedroom, it’s important to make the space as inviting as possible.
Start by choosing the right bed for your little one, such as a children’s cabin bed with a comfortable mattress that they’ll love climbing onto each night.
Think about colour schemes when decorating the room, going for calming shades of blue, green or white, and decorate the space with lots of soft furnishings and accessories.