When you have a baby, you never realize how important it is to have a good night’s sleep. It’s is one of the surprising things no one tells you after having a baby.
Sleep is so important for you as a parent, but especially for your child. A lot of babies are good sleepers. They find their thumb like mine did or they use their pacifiers to self-soothe. Life can be good for awhile.
You thought you had this. You thought all that sleep training made them the best sleepers ever. But guess what? They start experiencing new things like school, scary movies, or they got a glimpse of the morning news. Their imaginations start to run wild and you start receiving visitations that were unexpected in the middle of the night. You may experience the not going to bed with the long walk down the hall for the 10th time as well.
I will tell you my parenting friends. We are all going through it together. But there are a few things you can do to help your child have a good night’s sleep.
5 Ways To Help Your Child Have A Good Night’s Sleep
1. STICKING TO A BEDTIME ROUTINE
I have continuously learned this the hard way over the years. The longer I let my kids stay up, the longer they stay up or have meltdowns. When they stay up too late, they can’t go to sleep. They have nightmares or they sleepwalk. The other night they fought me so hard, but I stuck to my routine. It can be a battle. Our routine is for a 7 and 10-year-old girl is:
7:00 pm – Shower
7:15 pm- Pajamas on and teeth brushed
7:30 pm- Get in bed.
7:35 pm- Journal, draw, color, or read
8:00 pm – Lights out
I try to keep to it the best I can. You want to be that cool parent that lets it slide but in the end we all pay for it.
2. READING A BEDTIME STORY
I’ve been reading aloud to my kids since they were babies. It’s always been part of our bedtime routine, even with my 4th grader. We read some of the same books over and over again like Where The Wild Things Are or Cloudy with a Chance Of Meatballs. It just makes them forget about the day’s worries when they hear a book they already know how it will.
We also have a few kids books that help with everyday life. Some of these books are really helpful when child may be having a difficult time with friends, school or worries.
Check out my Amazon store of great bedtime books ideas here.
Sometimes sitting in bed and writing about your day is therapeutic. Well, why wouldn’t it be for your child? The benefits of journaling with your child can be amazing. My daughter has a Big Life Journal that she has been working on all year. It has stories that make her think more about other people and the outside world and then take a look at herself. It’s wonderful writing practice and for working on sentence structure.
4. NO TECHNOLOGY TWO HOURS BEFORE
My pediatrician says it at every check-up. No blue light two hours before bedtime. I try and defy her because I was a kid once and I went to bed restful. Or did I?
I have literally proven this be a problem over and over again. A movie early around 5:00 pm seems to work out okay depending on the topic. But the frenetic cartoons and YouTube gaming videos get my kids so stimulated they can’t rest their brains.
After dinner, we try to play a board game or a card game. This helps a lot with counting, sorting, sportsmanship and may be some confidence before bedtime.
5. WRITE DOWN YOUR DREAMS
My kids have a lot of bad dreams. It can be from the stress of the day, being over-tired, or hearing about our world these days. When I heard about The Dream Pillow, I got my girls each one.
The Dream Pillow makes going to bed fun, encouraging kids to craft stories to dream up amazing places to go. The box includes a fluffy pillow that can hold your written dreams. There are 60 sheets in the notepad for amazing thoughts and an adorable story about a little girl who has bad dreams and decides to use the dream pillow.
My kids write their intentions or good dream ideas every night and slide it into the side hole of the dream pillow. Then they get cozy with a few of their favorite stuffed animals and their good dreams to come.
I hope your little ones have a wonderful night sleep. From my experience, I have found it takes two weeks to change a bedtime routine and some nights will be better than others. Nothing is perfect and as parents, we have to keep doing the best we can with the sleep.