If you are a parent, you know that bedtime is one of the most stressful parts of the day. Kids just don’t want to shut their eyes and count those sheep. Nope, they would much rather watch TV or play with their favorite toys until an ungodly hour of the night. Parents can’t let this happen because small kids are terrible when they are cranky. Plus, so are moms and dads!
As you know, clicking your fingers or making a wish doesn’t work. Unless you tackle the situation head-on, nothing will change and the whole family will suffer. Sadly, we all know parents who fight against the tide, and they don’t set a stellar example. Let’s face it – no one wants to be that mom or dad.
But, what can you do to change the way kids think about sleep? It isn’t as if they are mature, reasonable adults. The key is to build a routine and stick with it through thick and thin. Here is a selection of routine-based tips to keep in mind which should come in handy.
Deal With Sleep Troubles
The idea of going to sleep isn’t a simple one for children. Young kids always have and will continue to have sleep anxiety. It may be a fear of missing out, a fear of the dark, or sleep apnea. Don’t worry; the last one isn’t an Inception-style problem! The point is that kids have trouble falling and staying asleep because there are numerous issues which impact their brain. Most parents, because it’s common, decide not to act and wait before they see a doctor. Sorry, but it’s a bad move as the percentage of children who work out sleep problems on their own is low. Until you tackle the problem head-on, it will never go away. How you do it depends on the situation, but, as a general rule, talking to a pediatrician helps. Should the issue be severe, a specialized sleep therapist may be the only option.
Set A Strict Routine
During the week, going to bed on time is easy. In fact, it’s mandatory because you and your partner want time off before the rat race begins in the morning! However, when sleep experts say a routine needs maintaining, they aren’t only talking about weekdays. Unfortunately, it means weekends too. Now, Saturday and Sunday mornings are the only days you get to sleep past 7 am. Still, allowing kids to lie-in past their usual wake up time can impact the rest of the week. Then, on a Wednesday night during the week, your son or daughter may refuse to stick to the schedule. Whether it’s a Monday at the start of the week or a Friday at the end, their bedtime should be consistent.
Take Toilet Precautions
Older kids can’t wear diapers, but younger ones can because they are in transition. Yes, potty training your child without the need for diapers, or an accident, is the Holy Grail of parenting. But, don’t let your fantasy get in the way of reality. During the day, a child can tell their parents they need to go to the toilet. That way, accidents are easy to avoid. At night, their needs are involuntary and they can go without knowing. And, there is nothing worse to waking up to find your kid has gone number 1/2 during the night. The first step is to use diapers while they get used to potty training, and the second is to buy the right ones. At www.mothersandmore.org, there is a post which lists the factors to consider before handing over your hard-earned cash. Also, you can ask friends or family members with experience for diaper-buying advice. Just don’t do it over the table while you eat dinner!
Think About A Snack Attack
Eating before bed is a delicate balance. As kids are younger and use up more energy, they may need to eat before bed. This is particularly true when they have a routine based on a pre-bedtime meal. However, a large snack requires the body to use lots of energy to break down the food. And, when that happens, it is likely to interfere with REMS. If your child doesn’t complain about being hungry, don’t offer a snack before bed as the likelihood is it will do more harm than good. But, if they wake up during the night and ask for food, implement supper into their bedtime routine. The trick is to give them something light and easy to digest, such as fruit or porridge. Also, these foods have plenty of helpful nutrients which act as fuel through the night. Besides those examples, www.webmd.com lists graham crackers as a tasty yet healthy substitute.
Regulate The Room’s Temperature
Everyone sleeps better when the temp in the room is pleasant. In layman’s terms, it means it should be cool but not cold. Moreover, it needs to be warm yet not hot. Regulating the temperature of a room is never easy, especially if it’s too big or too small. Still, it is possible with a radiator which has a variety of settings. Turning the heat to the middle option is often an excellent way to stop the room from getting too hot. Plus, don’t forget about the role of the blankets and comforter. Usually, the top trick is to dress your child in normal PJs and resist the urge to splurge. Then, use the sheets as a means to retain heat during the night. If they get too hot, they can kick them off and allow the draft to cool them at night.
Finally, don’t forget to remove electrical appliances from the bedroom. Experts know that electronic devices give off radiation which the body picks up on at night. When this happens, it tricks the brain into waking up, which interrupts sleep. Therefore, the fewer items in your child’s bedroom, the less impact the radiation will have on their sleep patterns. Yep, that even goes for the TV on the wall or the personal stereo on the bedside table.
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