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Sleepovers & Bedtime

Parenting Tips For An Easy Bedtime

When bedtime comes around, many households go into a dizzying display of children demanding they aren't tired. Screaming and racing about, children try to postpone bedtime. When the fits are over and the children are in bed, there comes the trick of getting the children to sleep.

Crying, whining, standing on the bed, are all scenarios parents have seen. Children need a good night sleep, as do parents. Between growth spurts, loose and growing in new teeth, preschool, daycare, and elementary school, children get worn out.

Tips for Parents to make Bedtime Easier and ensure a Good Night's Sleep for Children:

Bath Time

Despite the pre-bath time ritual of getting children in the tub, a bath offers a way of settling children down to prepare her for bed. The warm water soothes and calms children's mind and body. During a growth spurt, it helps to ease the pain of growing. There are ways to enhance bath time to help soothe children and make it easier for round them up to get them to take a bath.

  • Bath toys-There are many toys made for the bath tub, from soap crayons to animal-shaped sponges with soap built in, to boats and fish that float, swim, and dive. These toys engage children and show them basic grooming skills, as well as make bath time more enticing.
  • Bath time story-For younger children, a story read to them while in the tub helps calm them and prepare them for bedtime.
  • Bubbles-Bubble bath offers children something to play with. Bubble bath can now be found in natural and calming scents such as lavender to calm children before sending them to bed. If there is no bubble bath at home, a small cap full of shampoo, body wash, or castile soap can be used instead. Bath water can also be dyed with a drop or two of food coloring to make it more appealing for children.

Story Time

Children of all ages love to be read to, and story time is a great way to get children settled into bed. The sound of their parent's voice is calming. Though the story can be engaging, it can help children nod off. It is essential that the reading material is age appropriate and appeals to the childrens' interest.

Music for Children

Music can have a calming effect on the mind and body for people of all ages. There are many ways that music can help children sleep.

  • For younger children, especially, singing helps calm them as they settle in to sleep. A parent's voice is very calming and familiar, and makes a great soporific.
  • CD and mp3 recordings of music can help a child sleep. Music from composers such as Vivaldi, Mozart, and Pachelbel are proven to be very calming. Nature sounds with or without musical accompaniment can also be a good choice, as they are very soothing. Many folk artists have children's CDs, and some meant just for bed time.
  • For all children, avoid stimulating music such as metal or loud music with fast rhythms, as it will keep the child awake. The CD or mp3 player should be kept at a low volume to maintain a relaxing environment.

Night Light for Kids

A night light helps a child fall asleep and stay asleep. Allowing children to see their surroundings prevents them from being afraid of what is in the room, under the bed, and in the closet. This allows children to sleep soundly without nightmares about ghostly and monstrous inhabitants.

Children's Diet

Children's diet can affect many aspects of their life. From energy levels to the ability to sleep. There are many ways diet can help a child sleep.

  • Limiting sugar, especially near bedtime, allows children's bodies to calm down for the evening so they can get to sleep easily.
  • Avoiding caffeine especially near bedtime can help children get to sleep more easily. Common sources of caffeine for children include chocolate, soda(most orange soda includes caffeine), some candies, and tea. If children have trouble sleeping in general, avoid caffeine at all times.
  • A small snack or a cup of milk may help children sleep, as being hungry while tired can cause children to be come overtired and not sleep. Be mindful of the snack, and make sure there is no sugar. Crackers, fruit, or cheese are great options.

Playtime helps with Bedtime

Regular playtime daily helps children's growing bodies stay healthy. Also, children sleep better if they have had some active playtime earlier in the day. There are many ways to encourage a child to engage in active play.

  • In this age of media bombardment, it is easy for kids to sit in front of the television or the computer for hours daily. Instead of promoting it, ration it. Allow children a certain amount daily, or use it as a reward for good behavior or grades.
  • Keep a toy box of active toys. Jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, blocks, and and balls encourage children to actively play, by themselves and with others.
  • Though active play helps children sleep better, if it is too close to bedtime it can make it hard for a child to sleep. Kids sleep best after winding down after excitement. A good night's sleep for children is important. It promotes good emotional and physical health. There are many ways to help children sleep through the night with little debate getting them to bed. Used individually or in conjunction with others, these techniques will help children sleep.