We all know the importance of evening routines - but did you ever imagine that you'd have to lay down with your toddler or preschooler to get them to fall asleep?
I had a fairly easy time getting both my kids to sleep right away when they were in a snuggly crib. But once they moved into their big kid beds, it was a different story!
But is laying with your child really so bad? The more relaxed your child is, the more likely he'll go to bed easily and fall asleep quickly. So I let let them know that I will only lay there for 10 minutes. If they fall asleep, great, if not, then they are on their own.
Of course, it helps to wind down before bed by having a consistent nightly ritual that is soothing and allows our children to feel safe, secure and sleepy.
Without a routine, your child may have difficulties settling down for a good night’s sleep.
Start early so you have time to get through the entire routine before you tuck him in.
Night Time Routines can consist of:
• Taking a bath or washing hands and face
• Wiping gums or brushing teeth
• A diaper change and getting on PJ’s
• Starting the night -time ritual in the bathroom or in another room and ending up in your child's room.
• Getting the wiggles out. Children sometimes get bursts of energy right before the go to sleep, so let them get the night time goofies, jump up and down or have a giggle and tickle session.
• Singing or playing a game: like the big gigantic spider crawled up the daddy spout… but don’t get him to overloaded!
• Have good night puppet show
• Say goodnight to things around the house
• Play some music and/or turn on a soothing sound machine
• End each departure with a tagline: “Mama loves you, see you in the morning” or “Sweet dreams, we all love you.”
Routines are essential, but allow some room for flexibility, especially if your child if sick, teething or you have a special visitors, such as grandma and grandpa.
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