.Kids need enough sleep to grow strong and healthy. As a parent, you might be aware of this, but it might not be easy for your kids to fall asleep. To help you with this problem, Adam Seligman who works at the Stanford Children Health Sleep Center, has offered a few ideas to cope with this problem.
Spend Time Together
Some kids require a little bit of attention from someone close to them such as a guardian or a caregiver in order to feel comfortable to fall asleep. This is usually the case for kids who do not spend quality time with their parents because of various reasons such as work.
However, when the caregiver is present all the time, kids feel more comfortable and protected. Therefore, it is important that you sacrifice a few minutes in the evening so that you can spend time with the kids. Find out whether they are okay by asking them questions concerning their wellbeing. When it comes to babies, you can cuddle them for at least 10 minutes while maintaining eye contact or singing a lullaby song.
Come Up With A Bedtime Plan
A bedtime plan can help your kids prepare for better sleep and get used to the routine. For infants, it can be as easy as singing a few lullaby songs. However, for older children, you can ask them to contribute a few ideas to the bedtime plan. Let the older child decide the number of books he or she wants to read during bedtime (bedtime stories help kids identify the things that make them settle during bedtime). After coming up with the bedtime plan, the next step is to list down all the ideas in sequence – “dress up for bed, brush your teeth, read the bedtime story, cuddle, lights off” – all kids will be aware of what needs to be done. For kids who cannot read, you can use charts with pictures. Once you are done making the plan, review it for the last time and then rehearse it with the kids so that they do not easily forget.
Stick To The Routine
Kids feel more secure when they know what needs to be done. Therefore, it is vital that you and the kids stick to the routine so that it can be easy for everyone to fall asleep. Besides being able to fall asleep with ease, the kids will also have no problem waking up the next day. Do not change the routine even during weekends, because such an act can affect the kid’s sleeping pattern and cause them to have a hard time waking during school days. Younger kids are required to sleep for at least 10 or 12 hours every night. Therefore, if your kids wake up very early in the morning for school, make sure that they sleep early as well so that they can get enough rest.
Switch Off Anything That May Disturb Your Kids Sleep
To create an ideal sleeping environment ensure they are comfortable, take a look at these Ikea mattress reviews. Switch off anything that can interrupt your kid’s sleep such as television and other electronics. Such gadgets are also known to prevent the production of both the serotonin and melatonin hormone levels, which affect the sleep and wake cycle. Therefore, you should switch off the screen at least an hour before going to bed. Also, limit the number of hours kids spend watching television so that they can remain active during the day and night.
Should you Rely on Sleep Technologies?
There are several gadgets that have been introduced to help kids fall asleep. Some of these gadgets are designed with special features such as lighting and alarms to help put kids to sleep and wake them up in the morning. A good example of such a gadget is FitBit, which can also be used as a screening tool for various sleep issues. However, you also need to understand that these gadgets are not diagnostic. That means you might want to see a sleeping specialist if your child is not getting enough rest as required.
Not all kids know how to tell time. For kids who cannot do this, you can use a clock that uses different colors to indicate different periods. Also, reward your kids for keeping time. You can give them gifts such as sticker charts or play their favorite game together. If your kids are slow learners, be patient, and be positive when encouraging them to stick to the bedtime routine.