Are you fighting a battle with your child to make them sleep? Here is a bit of information for all those struggling parents. Undeniably the joy of parenthood brings along a lot of challenges and responsibilities. As babies grow out of infancy and become a toddler, the most challenging part is making them sleep. It’s definitely not easy but important of all.
A good night’s sleep is as essential to body as food and nutrition. It is necessary for their mental and physical development. When children are sleep deprived they are no fun for anyone. They get mood swings, can become hyper, misbehave, irritating, and may become less focused and do not pay attention. So making them sleep is essential part of their physical growth and mental progress.
Adopting regular sleep schedule and setting bedtime attributes help your kids to function better and have good night sleep. Maintaining a regular sleep routine assists them to fall asleep, keep on sleeping, waking up fresh and energetic for the next day.
There are no absolute set of rules for making your child asleep but some guidelines may prove to be helpful, follow and stick to them. Here are 7 tips which can help parents to make it easy and fun.
1- Sleep Schedule and Routine: Set a particular time to go to bed and wake up in the morning, it regulates their internal clock which is responsible for maintaining the sleep cycles. Kids love consistency in their routine.
It not only gives them a sense of comfort, but they know that there is a way defined for them to go to bed and they need to do few things before going to sleep for example, brushing teeth, taking a bath, listening to a favorite story etc. they know what is coming next and they love to do it.
Whatever you all chose to do make sure it should be less than 30 minutes (excluding bath time). It is not necessary that there is one single routine suitable for all because every child is unique but generally yours should comprise of all that your kid wants to do. Make sleep a family preference this will make your child understand that whole family is together even at bedtime.
2- Bedtime Snacks: Usually kids take more than three meals a day which keeps them moving, but some kids show this urge to have some snacks before the bedtime. It is OK to give them a small snack before sleeping which will help sustain their bodies through the night.
It may contain whole wheat cereal or piece of fruit or little milk. Avoid giving caffeine containing drinks and do not give foods with high amount of sugars,this way they will sleep longer and in peace.
3- Calm and Cozy Environment: Soft and clean sheets, dark and quiet room elevates the sleeping process. If there are large windows which can cause outside light to enter into the room you can always use room-darkening shades. When a child senses the difference between day and night, it becomes quite easy for them to fall asleep.
4- Soothing Temperature and Comfortable Clothes: Having a dark room isn’t enough, temperature of the room also plays a major role in getting a sound sleep. The room temperature should not be very hot or very cold.
Melatonin (sleep inducing hormone) levels makes your child’s internal body temperature to drop but external temperature can be maintained to boost deep sleep and that is why the temperature should be a little bit cooler.
Keeping in mind the temperature, the clothing should be appropriate, always dress up your child in easy and comfortable nightwear which keeps them protected without raising the body temperature while asleep. As many kids don’t like to cover themselves with blankets and kick them off during the night.
5- Less or No Nap During The Day: This is actually a very important point, when a child wakes up fresh and energetic after a long goodnight sleep. He can easily go on his own whole day. Try keeping them indulged in play and all other activities until you put them for sleep at night.
Activities throughout the day make them tired and their bodies need uninterrupted sleep to get charged and get ready for another exciting day. Longer naps or daytime sleep will suspend their sleep cycle and can be a cause of making them stay awake till late night.
6- No Screen Time At Least Two Hours Before Bed: Restrict watching TV and use of mobile phones or tablets at least 2 to 3 hours before sleeping. The rays from screens of electronic devices can cause variation in hormone melatonin levels, the higher the amount the more sleepy your child can feel and ready to go on bed.
It will add to your surprise that as short as half an hour of watching TV is ample to keep your child awake for an extra two hours or so, instead you can lay down together and have a lovely story time just before sleeping.
7- Security Object and One Last Thing: Many kids love their toys and feel happy to carry with them on to bed. A giant teddy bear or another soft toy could be a means of shelter and comfort for your kid.
Once your child is in bed they may try to get out of bed and find many reasons for it, a glass of water, one last story, one more kiss, one last hug and so on. Do not pay attention to all these demands and let your child know once he is in bed, he should stay here and shut off his brain to have a sound sleep.
Putting your child to bed need all these efforts. Lay down with them, make the atmosphere calm and quiet and follow the above steps. You just need to be consistent with your routine to help learn your kids the importance of sleep. Once the child knows and develop a proper sleep routine, you will be at ease. Just these extra struggles in the beginning will make you have your own time at the end. Try out mommies, have a happy and joyful sleep times.