Sleep becomes a big part of your life when you are a parent. Or rather trying to get your children to sleep (and stay asleep) becomes a big part of your life. It has such an impact on their behaviour, health and ability to learn that it’s really important that we help them get as much sleep as they can. However, once you mastered the newborn sleep challenges, their development means that unfortunately often new bedtime challenges will arise!
We have had struggles with three out of our four children when it comes to sleep from getting them to sleep to staying asleep! There is so much advice on getting children to sleep but here are our top 5:
- Wear them out. Regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. Try aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity but not too close to bedtime. The easiest week of bedtimes is our skiing week – a day of fresh air skiing and a swim in the pool means my two are asleep almost before I’ve finished reading them a story!
- Find out their special nightime ‘need’. All our children have their own special way of needing that final sign that it’s sleep time – stroking the nose singing twinkle star, having the weight of two duvets snuggling him in, face to face contact or a final cuddle and eye mask on.
- Light – try keeping the room as dark as possible to encourage their body clock into thinking its night time. Trickier in summer! For those scared of the dark, add in a small nightlight.
- Keep the room technology free and have no screentime an hour before bed. This really helps ours wind down.
- Create your own bedtime routine that works for your family. Quiet time, followed by getting dressed and brushing their teeth, stories and then twinkle stars works in our family. Now they are a bit older, the quiet time can vary from a quiet family game, colouring or relaxing bath.
Thank you for reading – hope these suggestions help with getting your child to sleep easier. Let us know what works for your children.
Jemma & Gill xxx
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