Whether you’re moving your toddler from a crib to a toddler bed, a toddler bed to a big kid bed, or from your bed to their own, things can get a little tricky. A lot of people try to pour money into the problem hoping that kids will eventually use the things they purchased to find comfort in their new surroundings. These ten tips will help you think beyond ways to buy your child into their new bed. Instead, you will find that kids move into their beds with ease. There still might be a little apprehension at first, but with time your child will soon find independence as they sleep by themselves.
1. Create a Routine
One of the best things you can do for children, no matter the situation is to help them out by creating a routine. Bedtime routines are important no matter where your child sleeps though. If you can find a routine that works for you then you should stick with it as best as you can. Many people start out their routine with bath time or a storytime. However, some start the routine even earlier by dimming the lights and moving into soothing music. Of course, your household’s needs will have to be considered when working out your routine. You don’t want complete chaos as you try to get your child ready for bed, nor do you want loud noises in the home when your child is asleep. Thus, you will really need to plan carefully here. Once you get a routine down, children will naturally be drawn to keeping it though. Thus, it will be easier than ever to get them in bed and asleep.
2. Comfort Objects
Comfort items have been a part of childhood for decades. However, they can be used logically to help children want to spend time in their own bed, while also encouraging them to sleep longer. These days, there are many items on the market for this. From toys that light up and play music to white noise makers, you’ll find a little something to suit everyone. When it comes to comfort items, one of your best options is blankets. There are weighted blankets for kids to help soothe anxiety, as well as blankets that glow in the dark to help with a child’s fear of the dark. If a snuggly toy is what you’re going for then you might want to consider one that plays music, can be warmed to mimic body heat, or simply lights up. There are sound machines that will help improve your child’s quality of sleep too. There are even reviews to help you make the right choice if you’re feeling lost.
Storytime is a timeless way to help children get to sleep. There is something special about using a story to help a child feel secure in their surroundings. Storytime can be done in a number of ways too, so you can mix things up or stick with your child’s favorite way of hearing a story. One way is to simply tell a story you know. Whether its reminiscing or sharing a story from the top of your head, your child will love the bonding time. Another simple way is to actually read a book to your child, or you can use an audiobook to help soothe them. There are also devices now that use stories and songs to help children get to sleep without stress and anxiety. You’ll find a long list of apps to help you out too, which can make your life easier if your nights are a little hectic or you have more than one child to care for.
4. Aroma Therapy
If your child favors sensory ways to relax then you might consider offering aromatherapy in the room. You can find a diffuser for very cheap online or in retail stores, or you can use a humidifier. Simply place a few drops of essential oils in the water and let the smell soothe your child. There are specific scents that you’re supposed to use for this type of aromatherapy though. For instance, lavender is one of the most common options to choose from. With a little simple research, you’ll find everything you need to know about the oils you should use and the combinations that will be most effective for your child.
5. Warm Bath
A warm bath can be one of the most relaxing things you can do for your child. This is especially good when your child is wound up as the warm water can help them feel comforted and tired. If anything, the splashing around might also help them wear off some more energy. Of course, baths aren’t recommended every night as it might dry out your child’s skin. When you do offer a bath, try to add in more soothing elements. For instance, you might use lavender scented bubbles. You might also consider playing soothing music that will help get your kids in the mood for bed.
6. No Screen Time
It might seem like screen time is a great idea to help your child calm down. However, in most cases, it isn’t. Most of the activities your child is going to be doing on their device will stimulate the mind, which will make children want to stay up even longer. Apart from that, the blue light used on devices actually tricks the brain into thinking it is daylight, which can mess with your child’s internal clock. Devices can also cause tantrums when they are taken away, which will also disturb the calmness of bedtime.
7. Make Your Location Known
For some children, it can make them uneasy to not know where their parents are. So, when you put your child in bed, you might mention where you will be if they need you. For instance, if you are planning on cleaning up the kitchen inform them of this. When you move to another area of the home check in so they know you’re still present and where to find you if they are feeling insecure. After some time, your child will understand you’re still in the same home, which will allow them to feel more secure so they can drift off to sleep on their own.
8. Plenty of Exercises
A lot of kids aren’t getting enough exercise, which shows when it is bedtime. Instead of expecting kids to go straight to bed, you should concentrate on the amount of energy they burned during the day. Make sure your child gets outside for a little while, so they can run and play. If outside isn’t an option, then have games that encourage movement inside. You can also start kids out on an exercise routine with sit-ups, jumping jacks, and running in place. A yoga regimen before bed might also help. They have yoga that helps to soothe the body and is specifically designed for bedtime. You might have to play around with routines to see what works best for your child though.
9. Slow Movement
For a lot of parents, hanging out in their child’s bedroom for quite some time is a very real thing. You can remedy this problem by slowly moving out of the room though. When you first introduce your child to their bed, it is easy to sit on the bed and read, while rubbing their back and encouraging sleep. However, after a few days, you might move a chair into the room for reading and bedtime routines. Each day places the chair a little further from the bed. Then, when your child is ready, you might not even need the chair, as you might be able to just walk out of the room after the bedtime routine is complete.
10. Keep Bedtime Early
Trying to get your child to stay in bed can take a really long time. The hours will grow more frustrating the later the night gets, too. One of the best things you can do for your child is to put them down at an early hour. This might seem weird, especially if your child is used to staying up late. However, many studies say that putting children to bed at an early hour can actually help them sleep better. Children with an early bedtime not only sleep longer hours but are said to be smarter and healthier. They are also less likely to be obese. So, use science as your backup and put your child down earlier. You’ll still be able to get some of the nighttime to yourself, even if they do fight you for some time.
Helping children adjust to a new sleep routine can be remarkably tough. These ten ideas will help you stand firmly while you work through the adjustment period for the entire family. With a little patience, you’ll be able to find the perfect way to help your child feel comfortable and happy in their own bed.