As parents, nothing looks more peaceful than seeing your child sleeping. We all understand how important good quality sleep is for our health and wellbeing, but for children in particular, getting enough shuteye is crucial for improving learning, memory, behavior, and attention.
If your child is having difficulty falling and staying asleep, here are a few tactics that you can take to help your child get a good night’s sleep.
Write Up a Bedtime Ritual
The first step to help your child in getting sleep is by creating a bedtime ritual. If you have an infant, there are simple strategies that you can take, such as by singing a song or using white noise to create a peaceful environment. If you have an older child, they may want to be involved in helping put together a plan. Letting them have a say on their bedtime ritual can help them feel more confident and settled before hitting the hay. When a plan is communicated and rehearsed, you may begin to notice an improvement in your child’s sleep.
Spend Quality Time Together
Some children become unsettled when bedtime comes around because they are longing for more attention from their parents. If you work long hours during the day, evenings are the perfect opportunity for your kids to get your attention. Spending a few minutes with your children before they drift off to sleep and asking them about their day can help them relax and unwind. If you have a baby, spending 5 to 10 minutes making eye contact, saying soothing words, and singing can all contribute towards improving sleep.
Respect the Routine
Children need to have boundaries, so when creating a set bedtime, it’s vital that you stick to it. Your child will feel more secure if you stick by it, as it will offer predictability. Whether your child has school in the morning or it’s the weekend, getting into the habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time will help your child’s body clock stay in check. If your child is going to sleep at different times, it’s likely that they will wake up feeling restless and low in energy which can have a negative impact on their schooling.
In the modern world we live in, technology is all around us. If your child has a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, it’s important that electronic screens are taken away an hour or two before your child goes to sleep. The light from an electronic screen can stimulate the brain, making it harder for your child to settle and get a good night’s sleep. There are numerous things that your child can do instead of scrolling on their devices, such as by reading a book.
Create an Ideal Sleeping Environment
If your child’s bedroom is filled with clutter, this can have an influence on how much sleep your loved one gets per night. Your child’s room should be predominately designed to promote sleeping, so it’s best to keep their bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. If you have young children, you may find that they want to have a little light in their room, so a dim light or a nightlight is acceptable. Getting rid of clutter and making sure your child tidies their room regularly can create a welcoming and soothing atmosphere to aid sleep.
It’s crucial that your child gets plenty of exercise throughout the day. Doing so will help them wind down much quicker at night. As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to have a tantrum before getting into bed, so teaching them the importance of health and fitness is important. To reduce the risk of your child being too stimulated to sleep, it’s best to leave around three hours between playtime and sleep.
Look Out for Signs of Sleep Disorders
If your child has a sleep disorder, getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. Sleep disorders are more common for children who are on the autism spectrum. There are various vitamins and supplements which can help aid sleep for children with autism. You can find out about autistic vitamins via Autism Parenting Magazine, which provides an extensive list of vitamins for autism, and the best supplements for autism. Autism Parenting Magazine gives you access to expert advice from respected professionals, as well as solutions for dealing with sensory issues.
Avoid Meals Before Bedtime
If your child asks for a snack before bedtime, rather than giving them a treat filled with sugar, fat, or salt, it’s best to opt for healthier alternatives such as crackers or fruit. Make sure that the snacks you give are healthy and not very filling, otherwise, your child may find it harder to get to sleep.
Good quality sleep is essential for all of us. As parents, we want our children to have the best start in life, so following all the advice above can help boost your child’s sleep, improve productivity, and ensure they flourish in whatever path they take.