Consistency, consistency, consistency! In order to ensure a battle free bedtime, you must have a predictable sequence of events. If age appropriate, involve your child in making the schedule so they feel ownership and you increase buy-in. Post the schedule on the wall for everyone to see and refer back to when necessary. Be sure the schedule is specific as far as the order you will do things, how many books you will read and even how many hugs/kisses will be given. Sleep associations are incredibly strong. It’s not so much what you do, but how you do it. Let’s make bedtime a battle free zone!
Tips & Tricks So Everyone Can Get Some Much Needed Sleep…phew!
#1 – Prepare for bedtime…well before bedtime. Play hard during the day, get lots of fresh air, avoid caffeine, eat dinner at an appropriate time and turn off technology at least one hour before it’s time to hit the hay.
#2 – Start bedtime early. Once your child is overtired, it is much harder for them to fall asleep. Be sure to give yourself ample amount of time to go through all your bedtime routines and still have lights out by that ‘magic’ time (in some cases that window might only be twenty minutes!)
#3 – Stick to the routine…when kids know what to expect there is less stress and things go much more smoothly. Kids thrive off structure and consistency, so be this constant for them at the culmination of each day.
#4 – Bond with your child – through reading books, working on flash cards or playing a card/board game. Something that is both relaxing and educational, win-win! This will be another signal to their bodies and brains that bedtime is coming.
#5 – Do not give in “just this once”. Explain to your child that if they get out of bed after you say goodnight for any reason other than an emergency, you will simply walk them back to bed. Do not reengage with your child after you have said goodnight and closed the door. You know the famous line – If you give them an inch…they’ll ask you for another story, just one more drink, sing me a song. You get the point!
“Kids thrive off structure and consistency!”
Remember, for all these tips to be successful and for you to get some shut eye….order is key! Doing all the same activities each night, but scrambling the order, will be no help at all. Consistency is key, which includes both what you are doing and when you are doing it. You should leave your child with the same song, kiss, or phrase each night to signal them to begin counting sheep.
Sweet dreams! Or if you’re not tired yet, check out this master list of bedtime resources written by Your Modern Family for more great battle free bedtime ideas.
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