Going to bed on time after a tiresome day is a great comfort for most parents. However, this is rarely possible for most of them because bedtime is the fuss time for most of the kids. But you cannot sacrifice sleep, not yours and definitely not your baby’s. Sleep is very important for your and your baby’s health. It is found that the behavioral issues such as hyperactivity are found more in children having irregular bed time than children having regular bed time. A right routine and a few bed time rituals will help you to eliminate the bed time war and enjoy great bedtime experience.
Why Is It Necessary To Have A Bedtime Ritual?
Kids, and even adults want to have that “extra” 10 minutes of TV, cartoon, computer and what not. So when these 10 minutes get over, your bedtime has also gone for a toss. You’d think you’d sleep easily because you are tired, but that does not happen. The reason is that everyone needs a series of events to happen, which are predictable, so as to help them sleep. When we talk of kids, it is essential to have a solid routine that makes him go into sleep mode effortlessly and smoothly. Bed time rituals for your toddler are even more necessary as toddlers are known to fight sleep and stay hyperactive, and then feel irritated and clingy – but then they can’t sleep.
How Should I Plan A Bedtime Ritual For My Child?
You should plan bed time ritual based on your convenience and your child’s preferences. Rituals which worked out for your friend may not help you. Important things that you should remember are:
Rituals you plan must have predictable steps repeating in the same order every night
You should stick to your routine, even when you are on a vacation. This will help your toddler to settle down even in unfamiliar situations
Some parents let their child stay up longer, thinking that once he is over tired he will sleep on his own. This is a big mistake because once he is overtired, a hormone called cortisol is released which will result in the child taking longer to fall asleep and waking up early in the morning. So observing your little one and figuring out the time he usually gets tired is important. This will help you to fix the bed time, which will not be too early or too late
Winding down his brain activity is also as important as calming down his physical activity. So make sure that an hour (at least) before bedtime should be a “non-screen” time. All the gadgets such as computer, TV, I pad should be plugged off
What Are Some Of The Best Bedtime Rituals For Toddlers?
Your bed time rituals for your child depends completely upon his likes and dislikes. While selecting the activities, make sure that it will help to make him calm, rather than excite him. Here is a list of 8 best bedtime rituals with which will help you to plan a routine.
Brushing teeth: Brushing teeth should always be included in your toddler’s bed time rituals. Starting the habit of brushing teeth as early as possible is important for health reasons
A warm bath: A warm, soothing bath will relax your baby. Make sure it is a simple bath (unlike the morning bath with lots of splashing and excitement) which makes him clean and dry and eases him to the bed time
Get him changed for bed: Sometimes children will be fussy about wearing pajamas. He might not like the one you take. It is always better to let them choose (limiting the options to 2 or 3), which will also give him an important role in his own bed time rituals
Playing game: Playing simple and quiet games which will not make him madly excited and which will not demand high energy is a good idea. This way you are spending more fun time with him before going to bed. This part of the rituals will interest him more. So do it after the first 2 or 3 steps, so that he will finish those steps faster to reach his favorite part of the routine
Reading bedtime stories: Story time is another funny bedtime ritual that your child would love to get into soon. Always ask your child to pick a book. He might always take the same book again and again and ask for the same story. Don’t bother to read him another story that he shows no interest in. Tell him the story he wants. Story time also helps to improve his vocabulary and language skills. Read more about reading bedtime stories here
Getting into bed with a toy or blanket: It is seen that taking favorite toy or a blanket they like with them in the bed helps the children to settle on the bed soon
Praying: Some parents imbibe a beautiful ritual of praying before they go to bed. They pray and have some fun, and the child takes the cue that praying in night is means he needs to sleep. Some kids will yawn and squirm midway through the prayer!
Switching off the light: You can make your baby to switch off your bed room light and turn on the night lamp. This will give him the idea that the day is over and it is time for his sleep
Singing or playing lullabies: You can sing his favorite lullabies for making him sleep. He would love to hear his mamma’s or daddy’s voice while he drifts off to sleep. If you prefer playing lullabies, play it with low volume. You can give little hugs, kisses and small massages while playing lullabies which will help him sleep happily
From the above ideas pick and choose the ones that are best suited for you and the baby and customize a bedtime routine. Parents are quite busy during day time with both household chores and office work. A solid bedtime routine is hence a great way to spend some precious time with your child and strengthen your bond with him.