How to get your children to sleep well
As parents to young children there were days when we used to dread the witching hour (5-6pm) and the resulting battle that would inevitably ensue as we tried to settle our children for a restful night of sleep.
Our tips on sleep hygiene for children
We have some tips on sleep hygiene for children, however these are based on what worked for us and some of our fellow parents. Its important to remember that each child is different and what will work for one, may not necessarily work for another, so please bare this in mind as you read through. You know your children best.
Is a bath before bed a good idea?
We are going to get controversial! We don’t recommend a bath before bedtime. GASP! We think that this isn’t good sleep hygiene for children. Kids often view bath-time as playtime. And who can blame them, splashing around in the tub is super fun and there are often lots of toys and a chance to use their imaginations! We always found our children were overstimulated after a bath and it became counter-productive and practically impossible to get them to stop rampaging through the house with their post bath energy. However, if your child doesn’t go wild post bath and emerges calm and centred, by all means a relaxing bath is just the ticket. For us it’s a no-go zone.
Cutting down on screen time.
Obvious, isn’t it? Screen time should be limited before bed. That includes the telly. And please no iPad in bed at bedtime, this is most definitely poor sleep hygiene for children. It is much better to settle your child with a book that you read to them. We get it you are exhausted and sometimes mustering the energy to read before bed can be hard. Remember it doesn’t need to be a book, poems are great, even a comic strip will do. Just make sure you avoid the screens, they stimulate and make it much harder for your child to relax.
Choose audio instead of a screen
If they need some background noise, consider an audio book. We found playing the same audiobook each night worked well for our son. The repetitive book can become something of a comfort almost meditative for your child. Our daughter sometimes prefers to drift off to some relaxing music. A much better sleep hygiene practice for your child.
Use a natural home remedy
We are obviously huge advocates for aromatherapy, it’s our passion and what we have built our business around. Creating a soft and soothing atmosphere of low light and a familiar scent around your child can be transformational when they come to bedtime. We love mandarin and lavender in a pillow mist for kids as it relaxes and soothes even the crankiest of little ones. We developed our little monster spray for our own children using just these oils.
Keep sleep hygiene consistent
Creating consistent cues for their senses that are familiar will comfort your little one. And when played out night after night settling down will become a much more natural process for your child. There will be nights where it all goes to pot and where nothing works it happens to everyone! However, remember, you are creating sleep hygiene habits now that will take your children through the ups and downs of their teenage years and into adulthood.
We hope you find these tips useful.
Sweet Dreams x