Bedtime – the perfect time for kids to list every possible reason why they are not ready for bed. Sound familiar? We're here to help you create a bedtime full of cuddles and hugs instead of kicks and screams. It's never too late to start a sweet routine that you and your child can stick to.
We have compiled 5 tried and true techniques for a fuss-free bedtime. All you need is a little time and lots of love to share! Read along to develop the sweet, snuggly bedtime of your dreams.
1. Pick a bedtime
Before you step into your new bedtime routine, it is important to pick a bedtime that works for you and your child. Choose a time that allows your child to settle down and get ready to recharge for another busy day. Make sure that the time fits in your schedule and commit to sending your little one off to la la land at the same time every night. Studies show that a consistent nighttime routine and a regular bedtime invite children to go to sleep and sleep through the night.
2. Have a countdown
Ding! Ding! Ding! It's time to get ready for your best bedtime. The key to achieving a great bedtime routine is to let your child know what to expect during each phase. Mark the end of your day and the beginning of the best part of the evening with a small kitchen timer. Setting a timer gets rid of nighttime confusion and tension. Let the timer signal that your child has finally made it to the moment you all have been waiting for…bedtime!
3. Get ready to slumber
Put the cherry on top of your child's sweet bedtime with a calming bubble bath, brushed teeth and fresh pajamas. Your child will begin to anticipate and enjoy the gentle rhythm of a good bedtime routine. Continue to repeat these nighttime rituals so that your child can have fun with their calm, quiet bedtime routine.
4. Let your child choose
Children begin making choices around age 1 and bedtime is a great time to help your child get accustomed to decision-making. Let your child choose which stuffed animal to take to bed, what color pajamas to wear or what bedtime book to read at night. Even the simplest decisions will make your child feel happy and appreciated. If your little one is too itty bitty to make these decisions, surround them with their favorite things to make them comfortable before bed.
5. Read a bedtime book
Read a nice, sweet story before bed every night. According to a recent study of preschool-aged children, ranging from age three to five years old, reading at home activates brain function in areas "supporting mental imagery and narrative comprehension". It's never too early to start! You can plant the first seeds for literacy right from your bedtime book! This means that the time spent reading with your child is not just fun, it's good for their mind, too! Find fun bedtime books that allow them to learn more about something new. A simple nighttime story can keep your child reading for days and nights to come! It can also send your kid right to bed when you (and they) need it.