Bedtime is one of my favorite times of the day. Not just because it means I made it through another day and get a little free time after my kids go to sleep. Although, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that’s part of it.
The other thing I love about bedtime is snuggling up reading stories and connecting at the end of a long day with my children.
However, I haven’t always enjoyed bedtime. In the past, there were meltdowns, stall tactics, and much longer than expected attempts to get kids to sleep.
While these things do still happen on a rare occasion bedtime has become a peaceful time in our home. I want to share with you five bedtime strategies that have helped us transform our nights that I know can help your family have a more peaceful bedtime as well.
5 Easy steps to a peaceful bedtime
Set a routine
Choose a bedtime routine that works well for your family and put it on paper. When we first decided on a bedtime routine with our children I made a poster listing each step of our routine with a picture to go along with each activity.
Each night my kids would check the schedule and we would go through each step and mark it off. Before long we were able to get rid of the chart because the bedtime routine had become a habit. My children know what happens at bedtime and if we miss something they are sure to remind us of it.
Having a routine helps kids wind down because they know exactly what is going to happen, there are no surprises and the end result is always bed.
Commit to a time
Children sleep much better with a consistent bedtime. Sometimes this can feel inconvenient when you want to stay out late, but it is totally worth it.
When children go to bed at the same time every night their bodies know when it is time to unwind and rest. They are able to go to bed easily and sleep well during the night.
I don’t know about you but I would trade that any night for an extra hour out with friends or a television program.
Create an environment that encourages sleep
There are many things that factor into how comfortable you feel when you sleep. I have found with my children that adding white noise to the room helps them sleep at night. To do this we use air purifiers in their rooms to help block out the extra noise and keep their air fresh.
Also putting black out curtains on their windows can help kids get the rest they need without being distracted by the light.
It also helps to make sure children are dressed comfortable for the environment. Footed pajamas can help keep them warm in the winter even if they wiggle around and lose their blankets. In the summer make sure they are dressed in pajamas that will be cool and breathable.
Along with routines letting children know exactly what is expected of them helps set them up for success.
Make sure before it time to go to sleep you talk to your children about what should happen at bedtime and what the consequences will be if it doesn’t happen. This way they aren’t getting new information when they are tired and could potentially overreact.
If you have children who share a room try putting the younger one to bed first. This eliminates the problem of children staying up talking and goofing off together instead of sleeping.
Also, it’s a great way to squeeze someone on one time in with each of your kids. You children will definitely enjoy the extra one on one attention with you which will help them look forward to bedtime as well.
It is important to remember that there are always going to be those days when bedtime does’t go quite right. However, as you implement these tips your family will be on it’s way to a more peaceful bedtime.