A special post for you today, a brilliant guest post from a fellow Parenting Blogger who is Alex. A Mum Blogger over at Onecluelessmum.co.uk. Alex has written an amazing post offering 6 Tips for a Great Bedtime Routine for Kids.
6 Tips for a Great Bedtime Routine for Kids – Guest Post by Alex from One Clueless Mum.
Now the kids are back to school it can be hard for them to adjust to the new bedtime routine. If you are anything like me, you’ve probably been fairly lackadaisical about bedtime while they’ve been off school, maybe letting them have that extra half an hour or hour they wouldn’t usually have on a school night.
After having so much time off school during the Covid-19 lockdowns, it’s no surprise your child may be struggling to get back into a regular routine. They may need a little more coaxing when it comes to bedtime, or maybe they’re struggling to fall asleep. Whatever the problem is, there are some things you can do to encourage a better bedtime routine regardless of your child’s age.
Here are my 6 Tips for a great bedtime routine for kids.
Bath before bed
A nice warm bath before bed can really help your child’s body relax ready for sleep. The warm water increases the body’s core temperature which then rapidly cools down once you get out of the bath. As you’re body naturally cools down before bed, it’s this rapid cool-down that prepares the body for sleep.
Talk about going to bed long before they are going to bed. I’ve found if I tell my child it’s time for bed without giving her a good 20-minute warning, she’s much more likely to resist.
So, we usually start with a ‘calm down time’ around 20 minutes before her bedtime. Calm down time usually consists of her settling on the sofa to watch one of her cartoon shows for 20 minutes. I then let her know when she has 10 minutes left before bed, then 5 minutes, and then 2 minutes.
The point is because she is aware bedtime is coming up, she’s already expecting it when it’s time. This helps remove surprise, they already know it’s coming, have had time to get used to the idea, and therefore are happier to comply.
Keep screen time to a minimum before bed
What you really shouldn’t get into the habit of doing is allowing your child to go to bed and watch TV to fall asleep. Numerous studies have found that watching TV just before falling asleep massively affects the quality of sleep for children and adults.
Screen time makes the brain more active, so they are less likely to have that quality deep sleep they need and more likely to have a lighter more restless sleep filled with dreams.
Not only this but the blue light emitted from most devices play havoc with your brain’s ability to become sleepy. Blue light can block the hormone melatonin, which is what makes you sleepy, making falling asleep very difficult.
It’s difficult not to allow a little screen time, especially if, like us, you also have a ‘calm down time’. But leaving plenty of time between the screen being turned off to when they actually go to sleep will be a huge help.
Every single night without fail, myself (during the week) or hubby (at the weekends) will read our child a bedtime story. This is something we do without fail.
Not only does this have huge imagination and developmental benefits but when done consistently every night, it also trains the brain to start winding down to get ready for sleep.
You can find more out about how storytime could really benefit your child’s bedtime routine and how beneficial a bedtime story can be here from Reading Rockets.
Not only that but with all the busyness of the day, having that one-on-one time with your child during story time with no distractions creates a great bonding opportunity.
If you would like some fab book ideas for toddlers, then check out Our Top 10 Favourite Kids Books. I myself couldn’t agree more with Alex with bedtime stories. Me and the girls love storytime and we have reviewed a number of children’s books which you can find Here.
No sugar before bedtime
This one should be common knowledge. Having sugar before bed is a no no for anyone but even more so for children. Eating sugar before bed increases energy levels and makes the body want to be more active, therefore causing a restless night sleep.
Once you establish your bedtime routine, you really need to stick to it. Consistency is key with almost everything when it comes to parenting and the bedtime routine is no different.
It’s ok to be a little more lenient at weekends, but from Sunday evening to Friday, your routine should be the same every evening.
Kids like routine, they thrive on it, they prefer to know what is happening and when. A consistent routine helps a child to feel safe and secure and which in turn increases confidence. It also helps to improve general behaviour & establish a basic level of self-discipline. Thus, making life a little easier on mum and dad.
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any tips of your own when it comes to the bedtime routine?
Let us know in the comments below we would love to hear them.
Just want to say another Thank you to Alex from One Clueless Mum for these Great Bedtime Routine Tips for Kids.
You can also follow Alex from One Clueless Mum on the Below Socials.