Bedtime just may be one of the best parts of a parent’s day. It does not matter if you are a stay at home parent, or work in the corporate world, us parents need a bedtime. That is our time to pick up the house (or not) , relax, and prepare for tomorrow. When children cannot sleep, parents also lose sleep and also lose their minds. So, I have compiled a list of ways we can help our little kids sleep better.
Helping Little Kids Sleep
Part of getting little kids to sleep better is setting up a realistic night time routine. I have found that starting this routine works better if I start right after dinner. While I finish cleaning up, my chill out for 30 minutes of tv, typically a quiet and mellow show. After that, we get bath time done; then it is teeth and hair. While their hair dries, comes reading time. Keep in mind, everyone’s routine is a little different based on their age.
Throughout the day, make sure that your kids get plenty of exercise. Exercise can happen inside or outside, which makes it great on a rainy day. If the weather does not let you outside for exercise, then make sure to incorporate plenty of inside activities. My kids, even as little as they are will also do work out videos with me too. I love watching my little one’s attempt yoga but keep it simple for them, so they do not get frustrated.
As a mom, I love nap time. Especially during the first year. It allows me to clean up, relax and maybe even sneak in a nap for myself. But with little kids, naps can affect their bedtime sleeping time. If they nap too long or later in the day, you may have difficulty getting them to bed. Around the age of 2, is when I noticed I had to alter nap time. The first week might be more difficult on your little one, but hang on… it is worth it in the long run.
It is becoming more and more common for parents to hand over a tablet or cell phone to a little kid to keep them quiet, and help them “relax.” Well, while it may seem like a good idea, studies show that the blue light emitted by these electronics may hinder their sleeping abilities, this is due to the brain not producing the proper amounts of melatonin. Melatonin helps our bodies create the proper circadian rhythm, which is our normal sleep cycle. From now on, limit electronics to help kids sleep better.
Create a Calming Environment
By creating a calming environment, it is natural that our kids will fall asleep quicker. Calming environments include a quiet space, no TV’s blaring, no yelling, and if possible keeping animals quiet too. Experts say a cool dark room is best. If sounds are an issue where you live, you could try a white noise machine. It may help drown out some of the typical sounds, and improve your little kids sleep better.
Use of Essential Oils
In today’s world, it seems like everything can be cured with essential oils. While I do not know the truths of this, studies do show that certain oils can help with sleeping. One of the most common essential oils to help with sleeping is lavender. There are a few ways of using lavender with kids. The first is at bath time, either use a lavender bath soap or add a few drops of a quality lavender into the water. The second way is through a diffuser, near their room that has lavender in it. I never recommend leaving any diffuser in a smaller kid’s room. A third way of using lavender for sleeping would be to add a drop to your kid’s pillowcase or bedding.
Remember, every little kid is different. While I hope these suggestions help you and your kids If they do not, please don’t get discouraged. Every kid is different, and it may take you a little while to find out works best for you and your kids.
What helps your little kids sleep better? What tips would you have for new parents to help their little ones sleep better?