Is bedtime for your kids something you look forward to since it is so incredibly easy? Or do you dread putting your kids to bed, knowing that you will have pulled the majority of your hair out by the time they are finally asleep? If you answered 'yes' to the latter, this is an article for you! Think of this article as the "super nanny" of your day! Try these tips to make bedtime easier for both mommy and kids... here are 7 ways to get your child to sleep...
1. Create a Bedtime Ritual That Doesn't Involve You
It's so much fun to rock our tiny babies to sleep as we sing to them, sure! By doing this, however, we are basically training them to need us to go to sleep. It is a good idea to at least quit doing this by the time they are six months old. At this age, begin laying them in bed and allowing them to develop their own ways of going to sleep at night. You can also employ the use of constant noise such as a small fan or soft, classical music in the background. Just be sure you have battery backup for those nights without electricity!
2. Be Firm
Children seem to get a kick out of calling their parents to their room at night. They must enjoy the feeling of being catered to hand and foot. Next time your little one decides to make mommy his personal servant, simply make it seem boring and not worth his time. Come in the room with a stern look on your face. Don't cuddle him or baby him in any way. Simply state that he is fine, and you have things to do, and that he needs to go to sleep. If he calls again, you will not come. And don't. Simple as that. I know it sounds harsh, but a gentle, but stern approach is what a child needs in order to see that they are not the only person existing and in need of attention.
It is only natural for us mothers to want to answer our child's call. And as I stated in the last point, in some cases we have to limit the times we do, so they learn. In other cases, though, we have to slowly wean them off of needing us. For instance, next time they call for you, rather than immediately going in, wait a couple minutes. The next time, wait five, and the next, ten. Pretty soon, they may call out for you, but even if you never come, they'll be fine. Soon, they'll go to sleep without calling at all.
4. Acknowledge Their Fears
Fear is a very real thing that affects us all, no matter what age we happen to be. Many times, the only thing between our kids sleeping and our sanity is just addresses some fears that your child may have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spraying "monster poison" around the room to ward off the fears of monsters lurking in the shadows. Find out what fear your child has, and work to help them get over it, rather than ignore it (or even worse, encourage it!).
5. Level with Your Kids
If they're old enough to understand, just be straight forward and honest with them. Tell them that you will be a much nicer and more happier mommy in the morning if you get sleep tonight. And that if they don't go to sleep, then you can't. Just be sure to keep your word when they go on to sleep! Start their morning with lots of love, smiles and kisses! When Mommy is happy, the day is brighter!
6. Get Rid of Your Kid's TV
Your young children may not like you at first, but it is never a good idea to have a television in a bedroom - especially your child's. By doing so, you are giving them permission to stay awake as long as possible, and your children need a healthy sleep routine. In fact, since it has been proven that the lights from the TV and computer actually keep you awake longer, it's a good idea to shut them off about an hour before bedtime, and try reading a bedtime story instead.
7. Reward Good Bedtime Behaviour
You can't go wrong with a good reward system! Children love to be rewarded for good deeds and behaviour. Set up a reward system that fits your child's likes and favorites. Use your imagination! Make a star chart, and for every, say, four stars, they get a special reward! You're sure to have bedtime success with this method!
What about you? Do you have any bedtime ideas that have worked for you that you can share with the rest of us? Please do! We're always excited to hear from our readers!
Top Photo Credit: boopsie.daisy