7 Bedtime Tips for Fussy Sleepers
It may seem that when putting the kid’s to bed, you feel like your going into battle; armed with a good book, a favorite blanket, or stuffed animal, perhaps even promises for a new day. Well we’re here to offer some tips on how to get those fussy little people to sleep, and keep them in dreamland all night! Of course, kids are all unique so pick and choose the tips you think will work for your little one.
Whenever dealing with children, it’s always important to be consistent; one of the most effective ways of teaching a child is the “leading by example” approach. Be consistent when it comes to setting a bedtime, pre-bedtime routine, and rewards and disciplining. Their little bodies need the rest, so it’s important that you make the effort to get them to understand that too. Once a routine has been established, and they know all the steps that will lead them to sleep, muscle memory will take over, and they’ll fall asleep easier then before. There will be rocky periods with some children, and that is completely normal: just remain steadfast in everything you do!
Wind Down Routine
Though the day may have seemed to fly by, it was jam packed with new lessons, social interactions, technology, etc. for you child; having a wind down routine will help dispel that energy, and get their bodies used to slowing down for rest. After bath time, or nearest the time you’ve set as bedtime, have a little child parent activity such as praying, reading, or just simply talking. Communication is important here, so you might want to ask them what they’d like to do before bed. Of course, if they want to build a snowman or some such thing, you’ll have to put your foot down.
Reward Good Behavior
Children absolutely love getting recognition for doing a good job; as with anybody really, but children need it because we’re building self-confidence from the ground up. Having a “Good Job Chart” complete with favorite stickers, and fun personal effects will have them clamoring to do well in getting to bed. Perhaps set up a system that allows for a large reward at the end of the week: ice cream for 2 weeks of no fussy sleeping! All things in moderation, but you get the gist, and you can customize your reward depending on the unique personality of the child.
White noise, if you’re using the technical definition, is a consistent noise that comes out evenly across all hearable frequencies. Essentially white noise creates a masking effect, blocking out those sudden changes that frustrate light sleepers, or people trying to fall asleep. So using one of the many apps, or even white noise machines to get little fussy sleepers to bed is a viable option. Incorporating it into a bedtime routine could help their minds slow down from all the learning, and exploring of the day, and get them ready to sleep peacefully.
Fun Night Light
Sometimes fear is the factor that keeps a child from falling asleep. In this case, incorporating a night-light could help them, and you get restful nights sleep. Shopping online, or at a local store for a fun night light that they’d enjoy will help them associate that light with confidence, and something fun and personal done with a family member. What you want to build in having them pick out their own night-light is confidence, not only when they pick it out, but also when they’re lying in bed ready for sleep.
Cut Down on Electronics
Adults most certainly have a problem winding down at the end of a day, and cutting off the tablet or cell phone, so children need to learn good habits before they turn into night Internet prowlers. Having a no TV, tablet, cell phone or other favored electronic time is important for letting their minds wind down. The constant bombardment of information or activity will do no good when it comes to getting them in bed. A recommended 60 minutes before bedtime is important to maintain a healthy routine for non-antsy sleepers.
Soothing Sleep Anxiety
Often times, kids just have some sort of anxiety when it comes to getting to sleep; “I can’t sleep” is often the anthem before bedtime. When kids aren’t given the right amount of time, or they haven’t expended their energy throughout the day they could appear restless and antsy. One way to soothe their frazzled nerves is by playing a favorite song, or lighting a lavender scented candle. Personalize the soothe routine so that your child’s reaction will be more favorable.