Bedtime can be a stressful operation for everyone involved. Whether there are tantrums, mess, or a refusal to sleep, helping your child wind down can be difficult. Setting a bedtime routine is very important, but sometimes things do not always go according to plan! Here are some tips and products to help make it a relaxing process for you and them.
Try and limit your child’s screen time throughout the day, and turn them all off a few hours before bedtime. The blue light from screens affects melatonin release, making it harder to fall asleep. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland and regulates the sleeping and waking cycle in the body. Blue light can prevent melatonin from being released, keeping your child awake for longer. This applies to adults, too; screens off before bed is a good rule for your whole household.
Oral hygiene is incredibly important, but it can sometimes be tricky to get your kids to brush their teeth properly. There are a few ways to making brushing your teeth more enjoyable and fun, whilst still being effective. Try a musical toothbrush that plays a song for the same length of time as teeth should be brushed, which makes brushing time go quicker and feel more exciting. Also, set an example by getting the whole family to brush their teeth together if you can, as they can see that it is something everyone has to do, and it is not a big deal. If your child dislikes toothpaste, there are plenty of different colors and flavors available for this exact reason.
Being frightened of the dark is one of the most common reasons why children do not like bedtime. Whilst many grow out of this phobia, using a nightlight can help in the meantime. These can help relax your child, as their room will not be pitch black, and the light can cast a soothing glow over everything. There are many different designs to choose from, so consider color, size, shape, and sound, among plenty of other things. You can purchase ones in the shape of animals, or even ones that project images onto the walls and ceiling.
A great alternative to watching TV before bed is a good, old-fashioned story. There are so many benefits to reading aloud to your children, including introducing them to the joy of books, authors, and building their imagination and creativity. As well as this, it also teaches them to be still and wind down, getting into that all-important bedtime routine. With thousands of children’s books to choose from, you will be able to find something to interest even the pickiest of brains!
These are a few ideas to give you a hand, and this is not medical advice. Sleep is vital for the growth and development of your child and setting a good nighttime routine can help them sleep well and thrive during the day!