Bedtime can be one of the most hectic times of day, even though it’s supposed to be one of the most relaxing! I talk about sleep a lot around here because having a child that calmly and willingly goes to bed is important and can make your whole day better. When you spend the last few hours of your night fighting your kids to please go to bed, it makes for an exhausting end. If you have a little one that is like so many others and hates going to sleep, here is a new bedtime routine to try so you can reclaim bedtime!
Creating A Relaxing Bedtime Routine for Kids
1. Read A Story. But Not Just Any Story. The New York Times bestseller, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep can make a huge difference in your kids’ willingness to go to sleep. This isn’t just your average bedtime story, this story uses a distinct language pattern that helps your kids fall asleep. The words in the book encourage you to slow down, relax your muscles and let your eyelids get heavy. The story is exciting enough to keep you entertained, but not so action-packed that you’re over-stimulated. I’ve been saying this book is genius since the day it came out and I really believe that.
2. Calming Noise. I know the idea of a sound machine usually relates to a newborn baby, but I think calming noise is important for a child of any age. White noise is especially soothing, but the soft sounds of waves or rivers may work well for your children, too. I don’t like anything with actual words in it though, as I feel like it distracts and makes you focus on the music, rather than it just being a comforting background.
3. Unwind Time. It seems so obvious that having time to unwind in the evening is necessary to being able to settle down. However, we often don’t do it. The kids are still playing with toys or using electronic devices minutes before bed. I have found that having about 20-30 minutes of calmness where the lights are off and things are quiet can make a big difference in how ready they are to go to bed. This is the perfect time to read The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep.
4. A Feeling of Security. I have just noticed this recently; when my kids have some time to sit close to me or on my lap they have an easier time transitioning to bed. Here is my theory: sitting with a parent or care-giver helps them to feel secure, safe and loved which is sometimes the exact opposite of how they feel when they go to bed alone. Giving them this time before bed reminds them that they are safe.