Whether you have a baby or a toddler, the challenges of a bedtime routine are quite similar. A baby might easily fall asleep – but for how long; on the other hand, putting a toddler or a preschooler to bed is a fun filled struggle that can at times be quite exhausting. However, we as parents must persevere in getting our kids to bed at the right time and in such a way that they will be able to sleep peacefully all through the night.
Sleep is vital for the proper mental and physical development of children. During sleep both body and mind rest and collect energy for the numerous daily activities. By the age of two, your child will have spent over 40 percent of their life asleep. Developing an adequate bedtime routine is essential, and it will not only ensure that your child wakes up rested, energetic and ready for a new day, but also improve their learning skills and attention span.
There are certain tricks that are really helpful for establishing and maintaining a good bedtime routine.
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Light dinner and bathing time
First of all, it is quite important to have a light meal for dinner and to avoid sweets at any cost. Heavy food can cause tummy aches and even nightmares, so it should be avoided if possible. A light colorful salad or some fish are a great choice for a pre-bedtime meal. A glass of water or milk go quite well with dinner and won’t cause any undesired moods, on the other hand, juices should be avoided at all times due to their high sugar content. The next step after eating in the evening pre-bed routine is bathing. After this, send them straight into the jammies.
Unplug and read
Before putting your child to bed you should remove all possible gadgets and distractions that might preoccupy their attention. The TV should be off, the phone put out of reach and toys tucked away on the shelves and in the chests. Only then are you ready for the bedtime story? For babies, a lullaby is the perfect bedtime option, while kids prefer rhymes and stories.
Finally, there are some great gadget options that can help your child sleep soundly all through the night. Having a humidifier in the kids’ room prevents mouth dryness, so there is no need for them to get up at night and get water. A night light can also be of great help, especially with kids who are still a bit afraid of the dark. Don’t forget different musical toys, as they tend to be quite useful for babies and toddlers, helping them fall asleep more easily by providing calming music.
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Each child is unique, and the bedtime routine should be adapted to suit your child’s needs. Still, some of the general rules apply, and a child that does not have regular sleep patterns tends to have issues with staying focused and learning, as well as agitation and problems with controlling emotions. A well-rested child is a happy child and it is a parent’s job to help them get the optimal amount of sleep each night.