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All parents will know how tough it can be to get children to go to bed on time, especially
if you have young kids brimming with seemingly endless energy at night. However,
getting kids to sleep early is not that difficult since good sleep habits can be
taught by establishing good bedtime routines.
Having a bedtime routine gives your children an expectation of what comes next and
gets them ready for bed so they will drift off to sleep easier. It may not solve
all your bedtime problems, but it will go a long way to laying the right foundation
Different families may have differing ideas on how to get kids sleep at night, but
this is what works for most.
How Can I Make My Kids Sleep?
1. The first thing you have to do is make sure that your children are really sleepy
at their bedtime. If you have set the right time when they should go to bed (say
between 8-9 p.m.), your little ones should be tired by bedtime. But remember to take
afternoon naps into consideration when calculating how early or late your kids will
be going to bed.
If your children don’t feel sleepy at all, try increasing their physically active
levels by letting them play a couple of hours before bedtime. For example, in warm
summer months, it can be outdoors on a playground or a nearby park.
Winter or rainy days can make outdoor play impossible, but there are still some things
your children can do, such as jumping on a small indoor trampoline. Hide and seek,
tag and chase, wrestling and tussling, dancing and free-for-all roughhouse play are
also great. It doesn’t matter what your children do, the whole idea is to make them
really tired and get them ready for bed.
2. You can also offer your child a bedtime snack, an hour before bedtime. A cheese
stick, or a small glass of milk and a slice of whole grain bread, or a handful of
crackers is all it takes.
Having a light snack in his stomach before going to bed will help your little one
feel more comfortable and sleep soundly. Additionally, a bedtime snack will tide
him over until breakfast.
3. Another thing you can do to help kids sleep at night is to make them take a bath.
Taking a soothing warm bath in the evening can help a child wind down and prepare
him for a good night’s sleep.
If your children tend to turn bath time into more rowdy time, try to schedule bath
time before snack time.
4. The last and most important aspect in a bedtime routine is to allocate some quiet
time just before bed. It should not be a time for television, which can be too stimulating
for a child. If you must have TV in the evening, make sure to stay way from violence
or other exciting elements in the program.
My suggestion is spend about 15 minutes of quiet time reading a book to your kids.
Some kids may need an hour's worth of quiet time to be ready for sleep. What works
for me is, a younger sibling can have some quiet time with one parent first and be
put to bed while older siblings play quietly in another room. Then, it's the next
oldest sibling's turn. In that way, each kid gets some one-on-one time with a parent
just before sleep.
With these simple tips in mind, you can help young kids establish a healthy bedtime
routine and get a good night's sleep yourself.