My kids have always had sleep issues from the very beginning. It probably didn’t help that I co-slept and rushed to their becking call as infants so it was harder for us to establish and fix the issues later on. And although I wouldn’t change my choice to co-sleep I would make sure to incorporate healthy sleeping habits from the jump so that I wouldn’t have to do the work later down the line. Since I have been through the struggles I wanted to share five tips to get your kids to sleep. Kids bedtime tips can be a parents lifesaver as each one has been for me.
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5 Kids Bedtime Tips to Get Your Kids to Sleep
1. Establishing A Routine
Routines are essential for our household. As a mom who thrives best in an orderly function it’s not unrealistic that everything for us has a routine. We make sure the routines in our home feel natural and each item can be easily incorporated into our day.
As early as possible even at 2-3 months, you can begin to start making a bedtime routine for your child. Start by picking the bedtime and an hour before slowly begin to set up small activities that need to be done right before bed. As the time goes on the activities will become your bedtime routine.
Children begin to notice when things are repetitive so if every night you are getting them in the bath, then reading a story and then tucking them in, even these 3 things can make up your routine.
Our routine for bedtime consists of a lot more and tasks since my children are older but having one sets the precedent on our home that it’s time to unwind and get ready for bed. This small list runs down the list of items we hit daily in our bedtime routine.
We don’t skip baths unless we are home too late because baths for us are a time to unwind and clean off the dirt of our day.
Obviously, brushing our teeth at night are non-negotiables for us. I like to do each activity with the kids so it’s easier to monitor and feels like the whole house is getting ready for bed.
As a family, we read books together or my son will read to his sister, either way, we like to make sure reading every day happens. Most often this time will be spent with my son reading independently and either myself or my husband reading to my daughter.
Right now we are loving reading My Magic Story because the books are personalized for the kids and have a great story filled with imagination which is perfect right before bedtime. Of all my kids bedtime tips this one is my favorite because reading to them and with them allows us to bond with one another and set a calming tone.
The kids thank god and bless all their friends and family, but with my kids, I have to stop them quickly so we aren’t saying all 25 kids in their classes names.
Hugs & Kisses
I mean who doesn’t want a hug and kiss before bed?
The kids have an apple tv in their room so we turn out the lights and we have the tv screensaver set up as the night light. Leaving the tv on for 30 minutes gives them a dim light in the room and also serves as a timer for us on how long it takes them to get to sleep at night.
“Trust the timing!
Bedtime is all about making sure you choose the right time when putting your kids to bed. When it comes to kids bedtime tips the timing is everything. You don’t want to choose a time that too early and you especially don’t want to choose a time that’s too late.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the time needed for a restful nights sleep varies for the age. So when looking at your bedtime routine for the kids take into account what time you need to wake them and plan backward. As it states in the chart below from the national sleep foundation site my kid’s ages 5 and 7 need anywhere between 10-13 hours of sleep per day.
- Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School-age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
3. White Noise
I learned the magic of white noise very early in so we’ve been using it since my kids were babies. For some reason children, including my own like the sound of white noise.
When the kids were babies we use an app, but that bounded us to have to leave our phones around them for a long period of time. Now we have moved on to using a white noise machine in their room that has a set timer to turn off.
We live in NYC so the city literally never sleeps which means ambulances, fire trucks, and construction are all in our backyards. Having a little help from the white noise adds a blockade for the sounds all around us.
White noise machines are not only for kids but I have used them in a work environment as well when meetings are in session and you need that extra sound cancellation.
4. Essential Oils
Growing up I didn’t know much about essential oils and the benefits of using them at all. However, because I was fed up with my kids and their sleeping habits my friend recommended using lavender oil to calm the room. So I purchased this diffuser because it has a light that changes colors so it acts as a night light as well.
I take 2-3 drops of the lavender oil and put it into the water 30 minutes before bedtime. The smell is pleasant and the kids also find the smell to be pleasant, you can also take the oil and rub it your child’s temples.
5. Keeping it Cool
This one is for moms like me who find bedtime to be frustrating at times so you might end up yelling over and over again for your kid to stop drinking so much water. Keeping it cool at bedtime is best for you and the kids. If you’re yelling (though justifiable) chances are you’re only making your kids more anxious and antsy than he/she needs to be.
Creating a bedtime space that free from yelling, screaming and losing your cool every single night will assist in making the night go a little smoother. Although as moms we are tired of repeating ourselves over and over again, keeping it cool sets the tone for how your little one will feel going to bed. Think about how it would make you feel right before bed if your spouse yelled at you!
These 5 kids bedtime tips are what works for us as a family, as a busy mom I am always on the look for practical parenting tips that are easy to apply in everyday life.
Do you have any kids bedtime tips that work for your family?