Bedtime. It seems to take my children by surprise every single night. “It’s time to go to bed!” I say, usually in a happy sing-song kind of way, hoping my kids will think they are in for a treat. Their reaction is never a sing-song chorus of “Yea! Let’s go to bed!” Instead, all four of them begin to moan and groan. They suddenly start to suffer from extreme hunger and/or thirst. Does this ever happen to you?
After 12 years of being a parent, I have concluded that most kids come pre-programmed to resist bedtime at all costs. Even when they are super tired! My kids have the amazing ability to dig deep and come up with the energy to bounce out of their bed like it’s a trampoline – even after being tucked in no less than 15 times.
But we parents are resourceful. We can come up with bedtime strategies so fun that our kids may actually look forward to bedtime every night. I have learned that parents have to take the lead at bedtime to help their children learn how to wind down and go to sleep.
I made a list of bedtime tips that actually work to help my kids go to bed easier. I call my list: The Be’s of Bedtime For Parents. When I follow my own advice for how to be at bedtime, my kids moan and groan about it much, much less. I think yours will, too. Let me know what you think.
The Be’s of Bedtime For Parents
Be loving. Bedtime is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your child. Show quiet affection with cuddles and hugs.
Be aware: Late afternoon naps may interfere with your child’s usual bedtime. They may not be tired at an early bedtime if they have a late nap, so you may need to adjust their schedule.
Be consistent. Children need to have a regular bedtime and routine. The routine does not have to be anything long or drawn out. Pick activities that help kids to relax and wind down such as reading bedtime stories. Reading out loud to kids builds vocabulary and fundamental literacy skills.
Be clean. A warm bath can help kids to calm down and feel sleepy.
Be brushed. Brushing your child’s teeth is an important part of a healthy bedtime routine. My 4-year-old is a huge PAW Patrol fan, so we use Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ products to make brushing his teeth more exciting. He loves his PAW Patrol character toothbrush and the Bubble Berry flavor of Orajel™ PAW Patrol™ toothpaste.
Be proactive. Create a soothing sleep environment with room-darkening curtains, a night light (if your child wants one), a bedside water cup (so they don’t have to get up and ask for a drink), sleep noise machines, give them a cuddle blanket, etc.
Be firm. Kids will sometimes test you (by sometimes I mean most of the time) and come up with all sorts of sleep delay tactics. Be firm, but loving and say goodnight. It may take some time, but eventually kids will get used to the routine and know you will consistently enforce their bedtime.
Be flexible. Sometimes kids just aren’t ready to go to sleep. They are simply not tired. Instead of fighting it, go with the flow. Allow them to stay up a little longer in their bedroom doing a calm, quiet activity such as reading or looking at picture books. Check out this awesome list of the 100 Best Read-Aloud Books for kids.
Get a FREE Read Aloud e-Book! The Three Bees (ages 5 and under)
Click on The Three Bees book cover image below to get it for free with code THREEBEES. We recently made this book a part of our bedtime story routine. It’s a fun book featuring a bee family that teaches little ones about the importance of nightly routines: Brush, Book and Bed.
Join me and Take the Read2Me Tonight Challenge at Scholastic. Share a video or photo of your family’s bedtime reading routine. Find more articles and tips to help give your child a nightly routine to keep their minds and bodies healthy, active, and rested.
Does your child have a bedtime routine? Share your thoughts, tips and tricks on getting kids to bed easier with us in the comments below.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ORAJEL. The opinions and text are all mine.