10 Ways to Help Your Kids Get A Good Night Sleep
At some point in most children’s lives, they will have some trouble falling or staying asleep. I am going to share 10 tips for helping your child fall asleep, that I actually use or have used myself. Both Wyatt and Echo have had trouble going to sleep at some point. Echo not so much, she is a sleeper, she could sleep through anything. Wyatt has always had a lot of problems falling and staying asleep. He always tells me that his brain just keeps going so he can’t fall asleep. He is 6 and I still don’t get to sleep through the night with him. So I definitely understand the struggle of lack of sleep. I hope that this article will help other parents and children having a hard time.
1. Make sure you set a routine. If kids go to beda 7 p.m one day and 10 p.m another, trying to get them to bed earlier might be a bit of a struggle. If your kids take a bath at night then try to add this to your nightly bedtime routine. My kids usually take a bath/shower, brush their teeth, get a nighttime sip of water and read a story, sing a song or listen to music. Aside from it being relaxing, it also gets them in the mindset of- doing this equals bedtime. This site has a cute, free bedtime routine printable.
2. Give a massage. If your child responds well to touch then give a gentle massage after bath time. We use essential oils in our home so I usually add a little bit of lavender oil to our coconut oil lotion and massage their backs or feet. Wyatt falls fast asleep when I do this.
3. No TV time before bed. We try to turn the TV off an hour before bed and try to do something else, the television over stimulates children and it makes it harder to fall asleep. This article found on CBS News helps explain the connection between TV and sleep troubles.
4. Make sure that your child is comfortable. This may sound like a no-brainer but, we often don’t think about things like how comfortable our child’s mattress is – because we don’t sleep on it. Just like adults children have different comfort levels. I have recently had the pleasure of speaking with Stephanie Hovian, she has a great website full of great tips and advice on purchasing a mattress. If you think your child may be in need of a new mattress, take a look at Mattress Life before you make a purchase.
5. Monster be-gone. Two years ago Wyatt went through a huge monster phase. He wouldn’t fall asleep and he had terrible night terrors. We decided to make a monster be gone spray because telling him that monsters weren’t real just didn’t do it for him.
- Add vinegar to a container
- Mix in a little glitter
- Add baking soda
- Let it finish foaming and then pour it into a spray bottle
Yes this mixture will foam up a lot. That is the point, let your children help you make this and let them see how cool it is. Something that cool must get rid of monsters.
6. Do a little nighttime stretching. Just like adults, it is a good idea for children to stretch before bed too. My kids and I sometimes do a light 5-minute yoga session. They think it’s fun.
7. Try warm milk or tea. Some kids don’t really like warm milk but if that is the case then try a little bit of caffeine- free tea, it usually helps. First read the container and make sure the tea is suitable for the age of your child. Some herbal tea should not be given to children under a certain age.
8. Listen to music. As I stated above, music always helps Wyatt. I think it is something about being so quiet and dark that scares some children. We leave a sleep station on Pandora playing for them to fall asleep to.
9. Keep a light on. Keeping a nightlight on can make a scared child feel safe. Sometimes all they need is to be able to see what they think is scaring them. If you would like to conserve electricity and not leave a light on all night, you can always get a flashlight and let them decorate it with stickers or however they like. This site has a cute decorating idea. Your child can keep that in their bed and turn it on whenever.
10. Count sheep. This is an old saying for a reason, counting from 1 to 100 slowly or backwards from 100 to 1 is a good way to help put a little one to sleep. I have had my kids count to 100, walk out of the room and then come back to find them fast asleep. Maybe it is from boredom or maybe their little brains were just too tired and gave up, who knows – It worked, though.
Try these tips and let me know what works best for you and your little one. Nighty- night.