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Tips for your child's bedtime routine
Sometimes it can be hard to maintain a good bedtime routine for your child, but a consistent one will mean they have the best opportunity to achieve their potential. We’ve got some tips on how to have the best bedtime routine for your child.
Start the routine early
Routines are easier to maintain when you start when your child is young. Trying to implement a routine later isn’t impossible, but it’ll be much easier to stop bad habits before they start. Be consistent once you start it so that your child knows what to expect. Create a plan of what you’re going to do and stick to it – brush teeth, use the toilet, pick a story, etc. Your child will find it easier to follow if they know what to expect.
Wind down before bedtime
If your child is full of energy before bed, it’ll be hard for them to get off to sleep. Instead, make sure that they wind down before you attempt to put them to bed. A warm bath with help your child to relax (and save you a task in the morning!). Turn off the television before they go to bed, especially if there is one in their bedroom, and put away any smartphones or tablets. Looking at bright screens before bedtime can make it hard to go to sleep. Encourage activities like reading before bed instead.
Communication is key
You need to be firm in your routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your children some options so that they feel more comfortable with it. Don’t make it seem like a chore by being overly strict. Let them pick their pyjamas or choose a bedtime story. Make sure to let your child know when bedtime is coming so that they can finish up their activities. This way you are giving your child some control within the routine, ultimately making it more enjoyable for you both.
Create a good sleep environment
So, you’ve got your little one to bed, but how do you get them to stay there? The answer – make their bedroom somewhere they want to sleep. Keep the rest of the house quiet if you intend to stay awake longer than your child. If they like it dark, make sure there are curtains, or if they don’t like the dark either leave their bedroom door open with the hall light on or give them a night light. Also, a cuddly toy or a blanket can make your child feel more secure.
Get the family involved
Having everybody on board will make the routine much easier. Talk to your partner or the rest of your family about the routine you set so that they can help to follow it. Setting a bedtime for the whole family will also help it to work better – just make sure to keep it on the weekends too. Tackling the task as a family is the best way to get it to work.