Convincing a kid who doesn’t to lie down to sleep can be borderline impossible, agreed, but it can be done.
As compiled from InStyle, here are eight genius bedtime hacks to get your child to sleep on time. Try these and thank us later!
Make bedtime a family affair
Sometimes, kids don’t want to go to bed because they don’t want to miss out on the perceived fun of being awake with the family, which is why many parents employ this technique. If the whole family is going to bed (or at least winding down), the younger members might have an easier time believing that it really is time for bed.
Create a bedtime routine
Whether that routine includes bath time, story time, brushing teeth, or anything else, having every night begin and end in a predetermined order with activities at specific times will only help the kids adapt. Studies have proven that daily routines help child development, and if your kids fall asleep at similar times (or ideally, the same time) every night, their bodies will get used to it, and it won’t take so long in the future.
This means leaving all frenzied or caffeine-induced activities for the hours before your kids’ bedtime routine begins. As many parents know, kids will often take their cues from you, so for the few hours before you’d like your child to sleep, make sure any and all activities are relaxing or you might end up with overexcited little ones.
Pay attention to the room temperature
If it’s too hot or too cold, your child might be uncomfortable. Baby Center reports that a temperature of 18 to 22 degrees Celsius is ideal for toddler-aged kids.
Remove all distractions
It is possible to side skirt the two big distractions: bright lights and electronics. Make sure they are put off and away, out of your child’s reach, because as ScienceLife at the University of Chicago reports, screen time can unintentionally keep them awake longer than you might like.
It’s also helpful to make sure the lighting is dim or completely dark (whichever your child is more comfortable with), and that there are no loud noises around.
If your kids are clingy, try giving them a security object
If being alone at bedtime is in any way scary for your kids, a security item —such as a blanket or stuffed animal — could work wonders.
Don’t give into too many “one last thing” requests
Sometimes, kids just don’t want to go to bed because they’re stubborn. If your child keeps asking you for one last thing – like one more cup of water, one more bathroom break, one more hug, one more book — you have to cut them off, or you might be up a lot later than you’d like to be. Stick to the routine you built, and eventually, it will get easier for the kids to adjust.
Turn on white noise
If you’ve got a fan, turn it on to help overpower external sounds and create a calmer environment.
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