Kids sleep routine involves all activities that your kids do before they go to sleep. They include bath time, eating dinner, saying prayers among others. A good sleep routine can help your kids sleep steadily throughout the night and wake up refreshed and relaxed. It helps build a balanced emotional quotient and trains them to sleep on their own.
Failure to establish a good sleeping routine may cause stressful nights for both you and your kids. It may lead them to have bedtime resistance, delayed sleep and frequent night waking. It may also affect their daily activities including their academic performance, as research suggests.
To overcome this, you need to have a well organised and consistent routine for your kids. It is better to start early so that it will be easily adopted by them. Here are some of the best practice you should follow:
Develop a Schedule With Your Kids and Follow it Consistently
Creating a sequence of activities that they will be doing before bedtime is crucial. Include in your plans activities like giving them a bath, dressing, a glass of milk or water, tooth brushing and one last use of a toilet. For some families, the routine may include saying prayers before a goodnight kiss.
Your kid’s bodies and minds will adjust with the routine as long as you follow it consistently. Avoid mixing up the patterns as it may be confusing to adopt. Make sure the time for bed is always the same and be careful they don’t drag you out of the routine time by asking ‘one more last thing’ before they sleep.
Cut Activities that Might Interfere with a Routine
It is recommended that a good bedtime routine last about 15 to 30 minutes. This is important as it will give enough time for your kids to calm before a bedtime. Ensure they stay away from stimulating activities, such as playing video games or watching TV, which might excite them a few minutes before their bedtime.
Additionally, consider restructuring the family’s extracurricular activities that might interfere with their sleep routine. Figure out the importance of their presence in those activities during their bedtime. The idea is to ensure they have enough time to wind up and settle their minds toward bedtime.
Enact the Visual and Verbal Reminders
To make your kids sleep routine a success, remind them about it during the other times of the day. Ensure they understand that, on whatever task they are doing, the sleep routine will remain as it is supposed to. Talk to each member of your family about wake up time that everyone should follow. This will make younger kids adopt the routine by themselves without thinking they’re been forced into it. If there was a problem the other night that interfered the routine, point it out and make them know it should not happen again.
Additionally, during the few minutes before sleep time, remind them of an upcoming step in the sleep routine between two or five minutes. The main intention is to make sure they remember that the sleep routine is there and will always be obeyed.
Ensure a Friendly Bedroom Conditions
Favourable surroundings for your kids’ sleep routine is important. Their room should be in a cosy space that is not affected by too much weather or light. Research suggests that a room for your kids should be neither too warm nor too cold and should be dark. For kids who are afraid of the dark, you might think of night-lights as alternatives. Make sure that there is also enough air in the room and the nightwears or pyjamas they wear are favourable for the weather.
Furthermore, their room has to be serene and the noise level around the house should be as low as possible. If you are living in the noisy neighbourhood, you might consider adjusting your kid’s room with sound-proofing materials that will decrease the noise.
Motivate Daytime Exercises and Pay Attention to Their Sleep Troubles
Daytime exercises for kids have been recommended for the good sleep health practice. Ensure adequate exercise time that will keep their bodies and minds engaged and ready for rest at bedtime. However, it is advised that their exercise should not be within 3 hours before bed to avoid delayed sleep.
Further, you should not ignore your kid’s difficulty falling asleep, if present. If they are having a bad experience such as snoring, waking up at night or heavy breathing, don’t assume that they will outgrow it. Consider taking them to get checked by specialists as the sooner you fix their sleep manners, the better.