Updated: Jun 18, 2019
The dreaded moment has arrived the evening is winding down, bath time has been completed and now all that lies between you and a relaxing night is your child and their bedtime rituals. These can over take and ruin any night within the blink of an eye. Don't let bedtime become a dreaded time or the uncertainty of how long it will take to actually wrap up the bedtime events and have a little one soundly asleep. Most importantly seal your bedtime every evening with a K.I.S.S.
1. K.I.S.S Keep It Simply Simple- A bedtime routine should not take hours to complete or involve ten different steps and a scavenger hunt of activities to finish before going to sleep. I say keep it to a maximum of five steps, read 2 stories, say a prayer, sing a song, give a hug and end it with a bedtime kiss good night. Having your bedtime routine around 20-25 minutes is ideal as anything longer can be over stimulating and turn into more of a theatrics production than an evening routine.
2. Limiting electronics, large amounts of light exposure and too many activities that are overly stimulating in the hours leading up to bedtime can be very important. I encourage parents to cut all electronics, television and games 30 minutes to one hour before going to bed. Read books, play with their toys, talk about their day to help reduce the need of wanting to watch t.v. or play with their iPad.
3. Darkness is Key- This is the best for an optimal sleep environment. I know there are so many trendy and fun items on the market, but these are just another ploy to keep your baby or child over stimulated and awake at bedtime and overnight. No mobiles or light projections during sleep time. Melatonin is produced naturally with darkness and is known as a hormone that is linked with sleep and wakefulness. Melatonin levels peak at times of darkness and are hardly noticeable during the day when they are at low levels. It helps to keep a room completely dark and for older children a helpful way to keep them in their bed. If a nightlight is required I suggest a small and soft night light in their closet or somewhere where the light is very minimal.
4. Sound Machines- There are many wonderful white noise machines, sounds machines, apps or even a box fan to be added to a child’s ideal sleep environment. This helps drown out any unwanted noise, especially the noisy neighbor at 5 am or the fireworks that will randomly go off on a Tuesday night, maybe this only happens in my neighborhood!
5. Who's The Boss- It is important that your child have some choices, but you are the parent and setting limits on their request or requirements at bedtime. Many children will tend to work harder each night to see what else they can add to the evening routine or even demanding to constantly change, remove and add request. You are the parents and the CEO so find a happy balance with giving choices, but not letting a child run wild with the evening.
Sealing bedtime with a K.I.S.S (keeping it simply simple) will help a family come together at bedtime and turn the evening into an enjoyable part of the day rather than chaos and uncertainty. Incorporate and change things gradually if you feel you want to change small parts at a time and before you know it this will turn into one of everyone's favorite parts of the evening.
I hope you enjoyed this week reading, please reach out with comments and questions. I love to hear from all my readers. If you feel you are ready to take the next step and get sleep back on track for your family, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my website for more information www.serenitysleepers.com