Ahhhh, sleep. As parents, we all want it, we all struggle from time time with getting it, and we all have one goal in mind, get our kids to not only sleep through the night, but with ease. Here is how to create the perfect bedtime routine.
I have had 20 years of parenting experience so far (gahhhh that sounds so old lol), so I’ve had my fair share of not so good sleepers. With that being said, I have found tried and true tips that not only seem to help little people with sleep, but to make sure they have a great night of sleep. Aka: sleep through the dang night.
Let me preface my tips by first stating that if a child is sick, all bets are off. Sickness hinders breathing and all around sound sleep. Us as adults are the same way.
creating a perfect bedtime routine
same time every single night
I know most parents don’t want to hear this, but those extracurricular activities that are keeping you out late at night, not so good for little people. Kids need consistency and having a set bedtime every night is crucial. Yep, even on the weekends our kids are in bed around (~30 min) the same time as the school week. Our bodies get adjusted to structure and in turn, come to get used to a set bedtime.
no electronics in the bedrooms
We don’t have any electronics in the kid’s bedrooms. It’s a no-go for us. It’s too easy to get used to a tv running in the background, not to mention it messes up our circadian rhythm. No beeping noises, no flashing lights, nada. “The blue light emitted by electronic screens can reprogram the brain to delay the onset of sleep.” Source: Parenting Science.
Quite honestly, we also don’t allow electronic use during the week except the tv (we watch Survivor as a family lol).
same steps every night
Our kids know it’s dinner, downtime, bath, and bed. Point blank. We have had this same routine for year. YEARS. It’s not a surprise, we’re not changing anything where it causes confusion…the routine is established. Kids thrive on routine, they thrive on knowing what comes next.
making the bedroom optimal for sleep
What I mean by “making the bedroom optimal for sleep” is clean sheets, temperature is cool, and room is free of distractions. There is not beeping toys, flashing lights, or a toy that just want one more minute to play with. By removing items of temptation for kids, you’re less likely to have issues. Sleep.org recommends a bedroom temperature should be between 60-67 degrees. No, we’re not talking about babies, but children and adults. Think about it, when was the last time you woke up hot?
Another tip is making sure the bedroom is nice and dark. “Melatonin levels start to rise in your body when it is dark outside, signaling to your body that it is time to sleep. Conversely, light suppresses melatonin production. This is one way that your body knows it is time to wake up” Source: HealthLine
Essential oils can be a great tool in utilizing what nature gave us. Even though a consistent bedtime routine is key, you can help things along by adding oils to your arsenal of tricks. I tend to lean towards lavender, cedar wood, and roman chamomile for sleep. Turning the diffuser on about 30 minutes before bedtime triggers the wind down routine.
every child is different
I have one child who has to have snuggle time before bed. She talks about her day, we sometimes read a book, and just likes to be close. This is her routine and she sleeps a lot more soundly when we stick to it. I have another child who reads before bed and that’s his niche. Realizing what each child needs prior to bed will always make the routine so much better.
Besides having a consistent bedtime routine, there are a few extras we have in every room to make it optimal.
Consistency is key. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for sleep and kids?