An established bedtime routine can help children fall asleep faster and remain asleep throughout the night, helping them receive restorative rest that allows them to function at their best.
An effective routine must consist of three to four steps that are repeated daily – this is key to its success!
1. Brush Teeth
Cleansing routines such as brushing teeth or washing faces at the same time each night can help your child settle down before bedtime and help establish consistency, which in turn decreases settling issues and the amount of times they call out to you at bedtime.
Young children should begin their teeth-brushing routine at least 30 minutes before bedtime; older ones may need up to an hour. Before beginning the brushing session, make sure they have a clean, dry toothbrush and toothpaste; many parents like to add in mouthwash containing xylitol as an additional measure to decrease plaque and gingivitis in children.
Before bedtime, it is wise to limit or avoid all foods and beverages containing caffeine such as soda and certain teas and coffees that can make falling asleep difficult for kids. Caffeine may keep them awake until bedtime arrives.
If your child needs to release some energy before sleeping, allow them to dance around or jump in a jumper for short bursts before following up their active play with something calmer such as reading or cuddling.
Some parents find that a warm bath with the scent of lavender or other relaxing scents helps their child wind down before going to bed. Others may find meditating or using breathing exercises before sleep helps them relax, and prepare themselves for restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful sleep. A consistent bedtime routine teaches your child security in their environment which ultimately contributes to improved restful restful restful restful nightly restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful restful sleep – however, setting one up may take time so be flexible on its timing or sequence of activities as needed.
One of the best parts of any bedtime routine is taking a relaxing bath. Bath time signals to your little one that sleep is near and can help them calm down before sleeptime comes around. Baths also provide an opportunity to play with toys or introduce something new like Otteroo bathtime floats!
Although bathing newborns every night should be avoided (as this could dry out their skin), bath time can still be an effective way to relax and bond with your infant at the end of a busy day. Try using gentle products with soothing aromas (like lavender or chamomile) that will further comfort and relax them.
Studies have confirmed that warm baths or showers do help babies sleep. Warm water draws blood closer to the surface, dilatering blood vessels and slowly decreasing body temperature for faster sleeping. This process enables your child to drift off quickly.
After their bath, snuggling and reading can be equally as calming for your baby as sleeping soundly in bed! You could also add additional soothing activities, like writing down their to-do list if they’re old enough. Reading over it before sleep time may jog their memory before drifting off; additionally, reviewing it might even help them sleep through any wakening during the night!
At bedtime, make sure the room is cool and dark to promote restful rest for your child. Dim the lights, close blinds and switch off TV. Additionally, you could make their room even more welcoming by adding extra blankets or pillows.
Reading before bed can be an excellent way to help your children wind down and feel ready for restful slumber. Reading can also act as an effective distraction from other noises or activities going on around the house and calm their minds so they can fall asleep more easily. With younger kids, starting off with shorter reading sessions will likely prove beneficial before gradually increasing its duration as they grow older.
If you have older children, setting a specific time for them to complete their nightly reading can help them understand when bedtime is approaching and serve as an opportunity for conversation about events from their day.
Your children should select books they enjoy reading comfortably before bed. Reading doesn’t need to be an “chapter-a-night” goal – even reading just a few pages can feel rewarding and help ease them into restful slumber.
Reading before bedtime provides another important benefit: giving parents time alone with themselves to read a book or magazine – or even just the news – without being disturbed by children. This allows adults to focus on relaxing and getting ready for restful slumber.
Although it might be tempting to switch on the television or browse social media before bed, these activities may actually stimulate your brain and make falling asleep more challenging. Instead, try reading a book or magazine instead to help calm and prepare for restful and healthful slumber. Lack of sleep has many serious health implications; making a reading habit part of your nightly routine will ensure a restful and restorative restful night’s restful slumber!
Your child may benefit from including snuggling as part of their bedtime routine, whether at an early or later age. Snuggling can provide an extra connection before sleep takes over, and may help ease their transition. Make sure the cuddles remain short; focus more on soothing activities like reading, rocking or singing lullabies instead.
Snuggling can serve as an opportunity to say goodnight to family, pets and favorite toys. Making sure voices remain soft and lights dimmed helps signal it is time for sleep.
An effective bedtime routine includes both rowdy play and calm and quiet activities as ways of de-stressing, yet it’s essential that it ends on time. Dancing to their favorite song or jumping in a bouncer are great ways to help release energy before bedtime; just make sure not to stay too late as that could interfere with them sleeping later on!
Once you know your baby’s natural drop-off window, it can be helpful to start a bedtime routine about 30-60 minutes beforehand. By doing this, your child will become more relaxed and prepared for sleep while learning how to fall asleep independently without your comfort – something which may prove especially valuable when sleep training or experiencing major regression occurs. A bedtime routine won’t solve every sleep problem instantly; rather it will take trial-and-error until finding one that works well with your family – however by sticking with it long-term your children will reap healthy habits that last a lifetime!
5. Quiet Time
Even young children can benefit from having a consistent bedtime routine. It can help them fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake less frequently during the night.
As children get older, their bedtime routine should become tailored to suit their schedule and needs. For instance, if part-time jobs or afterschool activities interfere with a consistent pattern such as turning off social media and digital devices before showering and spending some time reading before switching off their lights.
Quiet time should include other healthy sleep-promoting activities beyond the above routine, including playing relaxing music or an audiobook, writing down worries before bedtime, playing with nesting toys like Tupperware containers and spoons, food prep bowls and silicone cupcake liners, drawing or coloring or practicing yoga poses – or practicing them together! Quiet time can even provide siblings an opportunity to play in one room without fighting over toys they both want!
Remember, though, that creating a bedtime routine with younger children may take several weeks to truly become established. Start small – adding one or two things from this list that your child finds comforting before gradually building a complete routine over time. Be flexible but mindful not to introduce too many changes at once as too many can be overwhelming for a baby or toddler. If any part of the routine causes high drama or is making too much of a fuss in bedtime mode – try skipping it for now and seeing if changes work better later on during dinner or naptime!