What do you do when it’s bedtime but your child refuses to go to sleep? It helps to remember that even adults have a hard time settling down after a long day. The trick is to get your child into the right frame of mind. Here are some tips from fellow moms on how to ease your child into an effective bedtime routine.
Turn the bedroom into a Sleep Zone
Invest in a night light that can comfort your child and ease night time fears even after you turn off the main lights. Heavy curtains can help block off noisy street sounds. Don’t put a TV or computer in the room. Instead, a radio or an iPod dock and speakers can be useful in playing relaxing music. Other things that helped moms? Fun blankets and pillows—sometimes all the motivation a child needs is a chance to crawl under his favorite Spiderman comforter.
Establish a bedtime routine
Two hours before bedtime, shift your child towards more relaxing activities. It can be hard for an overstimulated child to quiet down, so quiet playtime (like coloring books or puzzles) can be a great transitional activity. Then have a bedtime routine, like a bath followed by brushing teeth and reading stories.
Many times bedtime is a powerplay: your child is tired but refuses sleep because he doesn’t like being told what to do or resents putting away a fun game. Help diffuse that stubborn streak by giving choices: “What pajamas do you want to wear?” or “Which books do you want to read?” or “Which stuffed toy do you want in your bed tonight?”
Check his daily routine
Is naptime too close to bedtime? When was the last time he ate something sweet? If your child always has difficulty falling asleep then look into his daily routine and diet. Remember that as children grow older they need less hours of sleep, so the afternoon nap that worked for your one-year-old may be interrupting his sleep patterns by the time he turns three.
photo from toddler-activities-at-home.com