Parents all over the world struggle with the same problem and you are not alone. Young children do not want to go to sleep when they are told to, and they will do anything and everything to stay awake, including crawling into your bed in the middle of the night. Here are a few ways to make bedtime that little bit easier, based on advice from Ian Weisberg. If you want to sleep better during the night, you want to hear the tips below.
Give Your Child a Choice
The more children feel like they are in control, the more likely they are to want to do something. This doesn’t mean letting your child choose that bedtime is at midnight on a school night. This is more about making a deal that will make bedtime easier for everyone involved. For example, if you agree that bedtime is at 7, and your child goes to bed then, they can watch TV for 30 minutes. This usually sends them straight off to sleep regardless and it makes them feel more empowered over their bedtime routine. In the summer holidays, let them choose their own bedtime, within a limit, and tell them they must be in bed for this time, with no input from you. This can make a huge difference in some children.
Have a Routine
Just as with adults, children need a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine is known to allow the brain to associate these tasks with sleep and therefore begin to wind down for the evening. This could include having supper such as cereal or milk, brushing teeth, and a bedtime story. Every family has their own routine depending on the family’s working hours and their traditions, but no matter what, putting some kind of routine in place each evening before bed can make the bedtime routine much easier.
Make Their Bedroom a Place They Want to Spend Time In
If your child loves their bedroom, going to bed may seem like much more fun. Take into consideration things such as lighting. Many children prefer having a night light to feel safe in their bedroom and this may make them more likely to stay in their own bed at night. Having a comfortable bed is also a big deal when it comes to sleep, even for children. If you have a few children, you may have used the same bed for each of them, but just like adults, mattresses need changing. Mattresses with inner springs are still the best way to get a good night’s sleep, and you may find a new mattress works wonders.
Remember, every child is different and there may be many reasons why they do not want to sleep at night or do not stay the night in their own bed. Bedtimes can be tough with young children and you are not alone in your struggles. Persistence is key, so do not give up because it is easier to let your child stay awake or climb into bed with you; eventually they will understand that bedtime is important.