The clock says it is 1:00 am. This is way past your bedtime, let alone your children’s, but they’re still up screaming, wanting TV, and demanding more goldfish. All you want is to get some rest, so you give in to their demands and fall asleep on the couch, hoping they’ll soon do the same. This is not only so many parent’s worst nightmare; it is also their reality.
For all the sleepless parents reading this, there is good news. By simply establishing a bedtime routine, you can begin to cure those sleepless nights. A routine should be a series of tasks that you and your child complete before hitting the hay.
As a parent, try your best to make these fun for your child without being overly rambunctious. This can help them associate bedtime with a series of positive events.
Try a Bedtime Routine
Here’s a sample routine that may help you. Tweak this plan as needed to fit your family’s schedule.
Step 1: Bath Time – Scrub-a-dub-dub, help your kiddos get nice and clean.
Step 2: Brush Teeth – While you are still in the bathroom get those pearly whites looking fresh.
Step 3: Pajama Time – Put on the PJ’s!
Step 4: Story Time – Read a short story to help them relax.
Step 5: Sing a Song – Pick a lullaby to help ease your kiddo into sleep.
Step 6: Tuck Them Into Bed – Pull up the sheets nice and snug.
Step 7: Wish Them Good Night – Tell them it’s time to sleep. Sometimes it helps to have something you say every night, like “I love you, goodnight!” and let them reply in kind with “I love you too, Mommy/Daddy.”
Step 8: Lights Out!- Quietly flip the lights off and close the door as you exit their bedroom.
Ideally, follow the same routine each and every night and you will soon be sleeping like babies. Experts generally agree that repetition is key to finding success and helping you and your child get some rest. Give it a try, and if it works, treat yourself to a bedtime routine of your own! If it can do so much for your kiddos, just think of what it could do for you.
Author Bio: Hi, I’m Mark. I study sleep health and I provide useful bedtime tips and tricks at sleepadvisor.org. In my cherished downtime, I love to hang with my family, read comics, snowboard, ride my ATV, and play hockey.