Ah, the topic that really feels like a ‘holy grail’ moment. Introducing: the nightly challenge – to get your kids to go to bed… and stay there.
One of the most difficult nuts to crack, the art of bedtime has been a topic of interest for what feels like forever. When they don’t get enough sleep, the inevitable happens – they have a harder time in controlling their emotions, they can become irritable or hyper, which leads to a manner of problems such as not being able to pay attention, general behaviour issues and is even linked to being overweight.
Whilst there is no textbook way of solving the bedtime dramas (every child and parent is different, after all) there are many proven methods that help such as having a regular schedule and bedtime ritual. Build a routine that fits for your family, and stick with it. Try these two tips if you are ever stuck:
Make sleep a family priority
Set regular go-to-bed and wake-up times for the entire family and be sure to follow them, even on weekends.
Work as a team
It’s important to discuss and agree on a sleep strategy for your child with your spouse or partner beforehand and work together as a team to carry it out consistently. If you are starting a new sleep routine, make them part of the team by explaining the new plan if they are old enough to understand. For a young child, try using a picture chart to help your child learn the new routine, showing actions like changing clothes, brushing teeth, and reading a book such as the Bobby & Morph Collection.