~ Disclosure: GoodNites is a client of Influence Central.
Bedtime – for such a restful concept, it proves profoundly challenging for many families.
Kids absolutely need sleep but almost always resist winding down from whatever fun activity they may have engaged in prior to bedtime and also may wrestle with nighttime fears and separation anxiety that make settling down extra tough.
At the same time, we Moms look eagerly toward bedtime as a chance to have a kid-free moment or two to relax, or to catch up on tasks we simply didn’t get to during our typically hectic days – a tall order if kids remain wide awake and out of their beds.
But solutions do exist that put an end to bedtime challenges and make the entire nighttime experience a little more peaceful. I’ve listed my Top 5 tips here…
With these 5 tips for creating structure, consistency, and peace of mind, bedtime can actually become a great way for kids to end the day.
Establish a Routine – and Stick With It: Kids thrive with consistency and by setting a bedtime routine, you create a set pattern and structure that can ease kids into bedtime each night and eliminate battles. The great news? You can customize it to your child and create a familiar routine that works for her needs. For example, if she loves to read, her routine can start with a book, then take a break to put on PJs and brush teeth, then another story before turning out the lights. By repeating this same simple routine, night after night, your child will come to realize it’s time for bed.
Offer Kids Some Choices as They Grow: As kids get a bit older they may want more of a say in their bedtime routine. Allow them the freedom to choose between reading themselves or listening to you read a favorite book. Likewise, they may want to listen to soft music while they sleep or change up bath or shower time. Foster their growing independence as long as these new requests don’t disrupt the overall routine.
Understand the Special Challenges Presented by Nighttime Enuresis: For kids who experience enuresis – more commonly known as bedwetting, it can be difficult to establish bedtime as a calm, restful time. In particular, older kids may worry about a looming accident, potential middle-of-the-night disruptions, or the slumber party they’ve been invited to attend next month. Now GoodNites TRU-FIT*can be incorporated into bedtime routines and offer kids peace of mind, which can lead to a more restful, relaxing sleep. Machine washable, comfortable underwear, GoodNites* TRU-FIT* also include disposable, absorbent inserts that keep kids dry, confident, and secure.
Build Transition Time Into the Schedule: Even the best bedtime routine can falter if there’s no transition time leading up to it. Kids simply can’t switch gears that quickly between after-dinner activities such as playing with the neighbor kids or chasing the dog around the yard and winding down for bed. Keep an eye on the clock and wrap up any high-intensity activities about 30 minutes before the bedtime routine kicks in.
Keep Bedtime Neutral – Avoid Using It as a Reward or Punishment: Bedtime needs to stand on its own merit – a quiet, peaceful time for rest and renewal. Although it may be tempting to send a cranky child to bed earlier or eliminate key parts of the routine after a trying day, keep bedtime consistent and judgment free and don’t link it to either good or bad behavior.