Establishing Successful Bedtime Routines
Children need to be taught bedtime routines and assisted in maintaining them. Routines help children fall asleep and stay asleep successfully. Without bedtime routines, young children can feel disorganized and uncomfortable. Here are some ways to help your child feel confident and secure during bedtimes:
- Start quieting down after dinner. Play quiet games, read books, turn off the television. This sets the tone for a peaceful evening.
- Keep bath time calm. Rowdy water play is best saved for the backyard pool.
- Try some infant/toddler massage techniques after the bath. You don’t need to know any specific techniques just do what comes naturally and what you would imagine would feel good to you.
- Find a cozy spot to snuggle in and read a few books. Stick with the same preset number of books each evening. Three books then lights out!
- Choose a favorite lullaby, nursery rhyme or prayer and say it each evening before putting your child in bed.
- Give a hug and a kiss, say goodnight and leave the room.
This exact routine might not work for your situation. Find the routine that will work for you and keep that structure each evening. Bedtime routines that are established early and followed consistently keep children and parents happy!