A bedtime routine is essential if you ever want to have kids that fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. For many parents bedtime is the time when you can enjoy quiet time, fun with your spouse, and a much-needed detox from the busy day of being a parent.
Building a better bedtime routine for kids starts with a few steps, and while it may seem like a lot of work at first, we are confident that you’ll soon find bedtime becomes your favorite part of the day!
Make some notes about what is working and isn’t working with your current bedtime routine for kids. This will help you clarify what areas need perfecting and which areas are good as they currently stand. You might find that your kids get out of bed to go pee too often during the initial hour of bedtime, or that they constantly holler out to you for something. These are little things that can disturb your kids’ ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.
Set a Bed Time
The first step towards building a better bedtime routine for kids is to set a time for bed. This will be the time when you want your kids to be in their beds, lights out, and ready to sleep. You might find that each kid needs a different time based on their age and other things you noted in your note-taking. This is perfectly acceptable to have kids of varying ages have different times for sleep.
Set Calm Down Time
One hour before bed there shouldn’t be any electronics or screen time for kids. This will help wind down their brains so that they’re relaxed when it comes time for you to tuck them into bed. Consider having the hour before bedtime a time to read a book, color in a coloring book, draw doodles, or any other idea that will help calm your kids down before bedtime.
Limit Snacks and Drinks
One of the biggest complaints that parents have about getting their kids to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep is that they’re constantly getting up to use the bathroom. This could be the result of excuse-making or because of their drinking or eating too much close to bedtime. Try to limit snacks and drinks about an hour before bed to deter your kids from using the bathroom as an excuse to get out of bed a bunch of times.
Don’t turn on the bedroom lights during your better routine for kids. Keep a night light or small lamp with low lighting on for your kids as they get ready for bed. Don’t turn on the main lights and do your best to keep the lighting low during and after bedtime routine. This will help keep their brains sleepy and ready to fall asleep quickly.
Work as Team
If you’re married or have a partner at home try to tackle the bedtime routine together. Sometimes one parent may be exhausted from their day which means they could slack in the consistency of bedtime routine. Make sure you’re working as a team to tackle the issues that keep your kids from laying down, falling asleep, and staying asleep. This will be essential in building a better bedtime routine for kids so that you get a little relaxation time every night.
In conclusion, the key to building a better bedtime routine for kids is to review what’s working and what’s not working in your current bedtime routine. Determine what time your kids tend to be sleepy and work around that block of time. You’ll want to create a relaxing environment without electronics, deter over drinking or snacking before bedtime, and encourage your kids to lay still when they can’t fall asleep.