A good night’s sleep is vital for all the learning, playing, running, bouncing, chatting and exploring that kids seem to get up to on a daily basis. With so much physical and mental energy needed throughout the day, it’s important to help your child recuperate with a solid sleep. Here are a few simple rules to follow that will help you ensure a sound sleep for your little ones.
Regular Sleep and Wake-Up Times
Having a consistent time for both bed time and waking up is important in forming regular sleeping habits. This will help condition your child’s mind and body to settle down, sleep, and rise at the right time. It will also help regulate sleep cycles and support melatonin production – the hormone responsible for controlling our “body clock”.
Create a Bedtime Ritual
Having a structures bedtime ritual helps prepare your child for sleep both mentally and physically. It’s another way of conditioning your child to know when it’s time to settle down.
This should include all the necessary bedtime preparations, like brushing teeth, taking a bath, putting on pyjamas, going to the toilet etc, but should also incorporate some pleasurable and calming activities like reading a story or singing a lullaby. Reassuring and affectionate activities like these can help calm your child down and create a sense of comfort and contentment.
Cuddle and Soothe Your Child Before Bed
Physical affection is considered vital to a child’s sense of safety, security and calm. A period of cuddling before sleep time can work wonders in calming your child down and preparing him/her for sound sleep. Also, receiving the physical affection that your child needs and desires will mean that need is fulfilled – if the need is left unsatisfied then a child may cry out after lights out because the need for attention from his/her parents has not been met.
Make a regular habit of spending time to talk to your child at any point during the night. Discuss what happened during his/her day, ask questions, answer questions, praise your child, and engage in play with your child if it’s not too close to bed time. This will mean you’re able to satisfy your child’s need for attention and communication. Again, if these needs are not met your child may have trouble settling down or may cry out for attention after bedtime.
Keep a Lid on the Liquids
Try not to let your child drink too much before bed and always make sure he/she goes to the toilet just before bedtime, so that he/she doesn’t need to get up during the night or experience interrupted sleep due to the discomfort of a full bladder.
In particular, make sure your kids aren’t consuming drinks with caffeine or lots of sugar, as this will only stimulate it and make it near impossible to get them into bed!
Create the Right Sleeping Environment
Your child should feel safe and comfortable in his/her room. It should also be an inviting place where he/she likes to spend time. Favourite toys in the bed, fun bedspreads and nightlights can help make bed an inviting place to be. Bunk beds in Brisbane are gaining in popularity – a great idea to create a novel space that kids love to sleep in.
The bedroom should be a place that’s conducive to a good night’s sleep. It should be dark, cool, and quiet, to ensure maximum comfort and minimum opportunity for interruptions during the night.
With these simple hints you’ll be able to help your child rest and recover, ready for each new day with all the energy that a growing kid needs to tackle life’s daily challenges.