Bedtime routines, and the rituals embedded within them – help to make bedtime predictable, safe, and positive for your child. When children know exactly what to expect at bedtime, they feel safer, they feel calmer, and they resist the transition less.
Here are 4 ways to help make the bedtime transition smoother:
1. Same time and order
Start by setting a reasonable bedtime that is the same every night, including on the weekends. Next, make the activities leading up to bedtime orderly and consistent. Certain repeated actions can trigger a body’s sleep response making it easier to get your child to cooperate.
2. Take time for training
Take a little time upfront to teach your child what you expect from them and what the new routine in your home will be – it will save time and effort later. Although it might be tempting, you should not give up and do things for your child, either–even though it might be faster and easier. With patience on both ends, your child will eventually feel empowered by what they can do for themselves–and you will feel empowered, too.
3. Splurge on quality time
Giving your child a good dose of tender love and care each day, can work wonders for their need for attention and a sense of security. An excellent opportunity to share that special time together is right before bed. After all, happiness and fulfillment lead to better sleep.
4. Practice gratitude
Positive thoughts can improve anyone’s life. Even if it begins by getting a better night’s sleep, that small difference can make an impact the next day, and the next. With so many things in the world outside of our control, the way we perceive and manage our thoughts to our advantage–which is within our control–is crucial.
Practising gratitude will help your child to focus on the haves instead of the have-nots – they might just fall asleep with smiles on their faces.
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