Bedtime Routines that Work.
By Susie E. Caron © 12/15/14
Do you wrangle with your kids at night to go to bed and get to sleep? If so, they probably have a difficult time winding down. We all live such busy over scheduled lives. Parents often find themselves pushing children through the evening necessities with very little time to catch their breath. However, making the time to settle kids, before you try to tuck them in, is essential. In fact, if you try to put them to bed without ample calming activities, you will spend more time struggling with them than you really need to. Put these suggestions into practice and you will find it much easier to get your kids in bed and asleep.
Start a Wind-Down time before bed.
Winding down needs to begin about at least one hour before bed. First turn the heat down slightly. (I’ll explain why you do this below.) Take away all electronics because the lights and rapid movements stimulate the brain. For the next 20-30 minutes, watch a nature show together, or part of a good movie (run a bit more each night.) You could alternatively use this time to read with your kids. Take turns reading short books or pages of a good book together.
Cool down their body temperatures.
At the end of 30 minutes, put young children in the bath tub for 15-20 minutes. Make sure the water is actually a little cooler than usual. (Don’t put them in a shower, unless you don't have a bath tub. Showers tend to wake them up a bit.) Bath tub - play time, actually calms children down. As the water cools, so do their bodies, which is essential biologically to help get them ready to sleep.
If they are really young, watch them play in the water for about 15 minutes. Or, sit in the bathroom and read a magazine while they play. (Older kids can get a shower if they choose.) The point is that their body temperature needs to cool down for them to start to get sleepy. Next, dry them and tuck them into bed. As they warm up in bed, they will get sleepy. That’s a great time to lay down with them and read a short story to little kids. (If your kids are a bit older, tuck them in and allow 1/2 hour for reading by themselves, then come back, say goodnight and turn the lights out.)
Help kids to set the stage for good dreams.
Before you say good night, ask your children to make up something they want to dream about. Help them to tell you what they will see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. They need to use all five senses to implant an effective good dream. That will help set the tone for good dreams every night. Kids who make a practice of this tell me they don’t have bad dreams any more.
Finally, Pray with your kids.
Do you pray with your children? I cannot think of a better way to end the day and ensure sweet dreams than to pray with them. Here is a short prayer for you and your kids.
Thank you O Lord for this day
For all I did in work and play
Help me to be as good as I can be
And only good dreams for me to see
Then Tomorrow I will say
Bless me Jesus on this day!
Thank you for reading my Between You & Me Blog. Please share this article on your favorite social media sites and comment below: How do you get your kids into bed and to sleep?
Twee' Means You & Me
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!