If it wasn't already difficult enough for children to go to bed on time, it's harder than ever these days when we are more confined.
Children's activity and adventure as a whole it less these days, which means children are less tired at the end of the day. Add to this the increasing struggle to get kids off of screens (phones, iPads and computers), you can end up with some wired little ones when they're supposed to be calming down.
As a consequence, the little ones fall asleep and wake up late and the maintenance of the schedules typical of a school day is complicated.
However, the children must go to bed on time as it is essential for their school performance and sense of humor.
What's worse are sleep problems can even slow their growth. This article explains nine simple tips to get your child to go to bed on time and get the sleep they need.
Getting kids to go to sleep on time can become a daily struggle. For different reasons (desire to play, fear of the dark, need to attract attention, etc.), many children do not like the time to go to bed, with the consequent arguments and tantrums.
Sleeping well is not only important to enhance your child's school performance, but is key to ensuring their health.
Here are nine simple tricks that will help get your child to bed on time and get as much rest as he or she needs.
1. Calculate the Proper Time to Go to Bed
The most important guideline for getting your child to go to bed at the right time is to create a sleep routine for your darling son or daughter.
How to do this?
The first step is to determine when it should be time to go to bed. A newborn baby needs 16 hours of sleep a day. As the little one grows, it decreases, according to the following progression: 15 hours a day after three months of life; 14 hours a year of age; 13 hours after two years; 11 hours at five; 10 at age nine; 9 hours at age 14; and 8 hours from the age of majority.
For the most part, we are focusing on children from 1 to 5 years old. For babies younger than 12 months, we recommend the use of a baby cradle mattress pad such as these for its multiple benefits of comfort, breathability and the fact that it can help to avoid SIDs, which will allow the baby to sleep “like a baby” and you can rest assured that he is safe.
2. Repeat Nighttime Activities with Baby
To create a sleep routine, the next step is to establish a series of activities that will be repeated every night before going to sleep.
It could be taking a bath, giving him a bottle of milk, brushing their teeth together, or reading a story with her. The creation of a “ritual” helps to create a habit and to fall asleep.
3. Each One in Their Bed
The ability of the child to fall asleep without his parents being present should be promoted. And in his or her own bed.
If after turning off the light and leaving the room, the child wakes up again, it is advisable to accompany him to his bed and calm him down.
However, the previous routine should not be repeated (reading, etc.), since the child will see it as a way to “buy time” and it would be easy to assume it as a habit.
Something that will make it easier for the child to love her bed is that it should be as comfortable as possible, and for this, a toddler bed mattress topper like these options placed on top of her existing bed is perfect so your child will sleep all night without problems.
4. Same Time to Go to Bed and Wake Up
Creating a sleep routine for the child implies that not only the bedtime should be the same, but also the time to wake up. Having fixed schedules will make it easier for the little one to accept going to bed on time without protest.
The holidays (Christmas, summer) can disrupt this rhythm of sleep in the minor.
If during the rest weeks, schoolchildren change their usual schedules (go to bed and wake up later), it is advisable that in the days before the start of classes they gradually get used to their normal rhythm.
5. Exercise Helps the Child
To make going to bed much easier, children should arrive at that time of day tired and relaxed. It goes without saying it's good that during the day they do physical activity.
Our little ones have a lot of energy and are eager to spend it. It is important that they play outdoors, run, swim, and enjoy other games and sports as much as they can.
6. The Child Should Not Use Video Games at Night
For your child to relax, it is important to avoid activities that may excite her during that last part of the day, including video games and watching television.
For your part, reading or listening to a story as the last activity of the day —before turning off the light and leaving the little one alone in bed— contributes to their relaxation.
7. Dim Light During Baby's Sleep
The degree of darkness in the room is also important. It is not good for a street light to enter for example.
For this reason, when the room has an outside window, it should be well sealed from light source using a blind or thick curtain.
However, it may be wise to leave some dim light inside the room, to prevent the child from being scared when left alone in the room.
This light will also help your young child not to panic, in case they wake up in the middle of the night.
8. Forget about Sugar Before Bed
Diet also influences the quality of the child's sleep. Some foods excite the child, making it more difficult for him or her to go to bed at a healthy time. In this sense, it is important to forgo drinks with a lot of sugar, as well as caffeine, in the afternoon.
9. The Bed Should Never Be a Punishment for a Child
It is important to prevent the child from relating their bed to a punishment situation. It is a mistake to send the child to sleep for misbehaving.
On the other side, it is also helpful for the child to spend time in his bedroom during the day, so he does not associate it with the unpleasant moment of having to go to sleep.