If you are a mothers (or father), you know that sometimes it’s so hard to put kids to sleep at night. It’s crazy because when kids don’t get enough sleep, they can’t wake up early for school the next day, they get very grumpy and tired. There’s practically at least 10 alarming side effects of sleep deprivation.
Meanwhile, we, parents can’t have the time to finish up some evening cleaning, and maybe some me-time sipping a bottle of beer or a glass of wine while watching their favorite TV series.
Either way, when our babies or kids don’t go to sleep on time, bad things happen. So we’ve compiled 10 ways parents and guardians can try to help relax our children at night, setting the mood for them to quickly go to bed and sleep.
10. Choose Their Food for Supper
It’s public knowledge that giving our kids sugar-loaded food at night can get them hyperactive. And at night, we don’t want our tots to be extremely energetic, but relaxed. Avoid giving them chocolate or any food that contains chocolate and caffeine, as well as processed sweet breads and cookies. On the contrary, the best evening food or snacks for them are whole grain crackers, calcium-rich drinks and food like yoghurt and cheese. As for ice cream, go skimpy on it because although it contains milk, it’s usually fired up with sugar.
9. Give Them a Calming Night Bath
Some aromatics and warm, calming bath induces sleep for both adults and kids. It soothes aching muscles from a long afternoon play, and it nourishes and cleanses their skin, making it easier for them to relax and be ready to snooze. There are kiddie bath products specially formulated to relax the young ones at night. Try some calming bath salts or lavender bubble bath for kids.
8. Give Them a Glass of Warm Milk
A glass of warm milk soothes anyone, kids and adults alike. It’s also very nutritious, giving our children a good amount of protein and calcium, while calming them down for some satisfying evening rest. It’s always a great habit to let our kids drink a glass of warm milk before bed.
7. Give Them Light Back Massage
We know our kids more than anyone else does. Sometimes, they just want some pampering, some attention to help them calm down and sleep. A light back massage may be all they need, a loving touch that soothes their muscles and communicates to them how much you care about them.
6. Give Them Some Cuddles
As busy as we are, our children require our undivided attention and quality time. It doesn’t matter how brief it may be, just that you care enough to tuck them into bed with some loving cuddles before they go to sleep. A tight hug, a goodnight kiss, some parent-child tickles – these are but small things yet amount a great deal to your children. Being there for them and with them before they shut their eyes lets them know that in the middle of the silence and darkness, they’re not alone.
5. Let Them Wear Comfy Pajamas/Sleepwear
After a warm, calming bath, let your children wear some comfortable sleepwear – something that doesn’t irritate their skin or makes them too cold or too hot in bed. Cozy nightwear is usually loose, made from breathable fabric, and appropriate for the current weather. Let your little ones wear long sleeved sleepwear with long pants, and maybe a pair of socks if it’s chilly, and let them wear drawstring shorts and tanktop or tee when it’s rather hot.
4. Give Them Their Favorite Blanket or Stuffed Toy
Often, our children have one or two particular things that calm them down and drive away their fears of the night (kids are usually afraid of the dark and being alone in their room). It could be a blanket they’ve been using since they were still infants or a favorite stuffed animal you gave them on Christmas day. It could also be your just-worn shirt that bears your perfume or body smell. You know kids find comfort in the presence of their parents, and sometimes all they need is to smell you or the smell of you.
3. Read Them a Good Bedtime Story
A good bedtime story shouldn’t make the children think too much or become confused, afraid or worried. It must be short with a simple plot. Make it a habit to read bedtime stories to your little ones at night, as this can be your parent-child bonding time, and teach your child to read and listen. It also motivates them to interact with you like ask questions, but since the goal is to send them to bed, control the conversation to a minimum, and assure them of your love and support.
2. Dim the Lighting and Reduce Noise
Some kids can’t sleep with the lights off, some kids can’t sleep with the lights on. Nevertheless, you need to train them to sleep with minimum lighting as this not only reduces power consumption, but is also the best way for them to actually get some quality sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, light inhibits a good night sleep. A dark environment is more conducive to sleeping. Therefore, turn the lights down low, and if possible, no nightlight.
My child is a good sleeper. Our bed is by the glass window, and at night, we turn off all the lights in the room, except those outside that faintly shine through the window. If anyone is sick and needs constant checking, we leave the light in the en suite bathroom on, but keep the bathroom door partly open, letting the light beam a little through the PVC door. No nightlight, no desktop lamps, no dimmed light. No unnecessary noise.
1. Sing Them a Lullaby
Although our children have grown up somewhat, they will always appreciate our singing of a lullaby no matter what. I mean, I know my daughter doesn’t always like me to sing because I have to admit, I’m no singer. But when it’s bedtime, she always welcomes a lullaby, even if I just hum and sometimes sing out of tune. Of course, the lullaby has to be accompanied by a light tap on the butt or light massage on the back.
So there you have it, mothers and fathers. Ten ways you can do to help your children relax at night and induce sleep. I hope that this list will prove useful for you and your kids because a good night sleep is very crucial for your child’s wellbeing, the lack of it can cause several problems, including depression. As parents, we don’t want to raise grumpy, sloppy, and depressed kids, but happy and healthy kids.
If you know of parents and guardians that may benefit from this article, don’t hesitate to share this with them. Let us promote quality night sleep for our kids, and even for adults like us.