Let’s face it, children are superhuman! They hardly get tired and always have the energy to play all night all day. That’s why putting them to bed is always a task!
For a lot of parents, bedtime is a recurring nightmare. It seems strange that kids require much more sleep than adults do, yet many resist going to sleep with every fiber in their body. Lack of sleep for the kids and the struggle to get them to bed, both are a strain for the child as well as the parent. So, how does one get these ‘always active’ children to catch forty winks? Here are 7 tips and tricks!
1) How much sleep should your child be getting?
Based on your child’s age, the amount of sleep they should be getting differs. Take a note of total hours slept every day, to how many hours a night they sleep, to typical napping habits to understand your child’s sleeping needs. Typically, infants sleep through the day with some hours of wakefulness ranging from 1-3 hours. 3-6-year-olds need at least 12 hours of sleep with short naps during the day.
Kids crave and thrive on structure, as it gives them a sense of safety and security. Following a routine helps them prepare themselves mentally for the upcoming schedule. Getting your child into a nightly bedtime routine creates a proper sleep pattern. These routines can be as follows:
- Night time clothes
- Good night kisses
Following this routine will prepare them for bedtime. It’s a good idea to begin the bedtime ritual 15-30 minutes prior to their actual bedtime. The routine itself can be altered or changed entirely depending on what you find works for your child’s individual needs.
3) Sleeping environment:
Create an ideal sleeping environment. Get rid of those flashy toys and lights which will interfere with your child’s naptime. It’s best to keep the room dark, quiet and cool. Some children might need a small nightlight, which is perfectly acceptable.
4) No electronics:
Devices like Televisions, mobile phones, computers etc promote wakefulness. It is absolutely necessary to strictly control the amount of time spent on these screens before bedtime. These devices emit light which tricks the mind into believing its daylight. This, in turn, forces the brain to stay awake!
5) Regular exercise:
It’s important that your children get plenty of exercise (playtime) during the day which will help them wind down quicker at night. However, it is important to keep their last playtime at least 3 hours before bedtime or they may still be too mentally and physically stimulated for sleep.
A child’s nap time is of utmost importance. As a parent, you should always make sure your child gets adequate sleep and is following a dedicated routine set by you. We at the Learning Curve have dedicated nap times to regain those energy bars spent during activities! We don’t play with sleep. We play and then we sleep!