Bedtime can be the most stressful part of the day - especially with strong-willed toddlers. If you’re already dreading the bedtime routine, we might just have the answer you’ve been looking for.
The best way to calm a child before bed is to get them properly prepared for the land of dreams during the day! Here are five top tips on how to do this so that bedtimes are much easier and less of a battle (one that you’re destined to lose).
Enjoy The Sunshine
Did you know that vitamin D deficiency can disrupt sleep? The easiest way to give your child their daily dose of vitamin D is to get out in the sun! Don’t forget the sunscreen though! Sunburn could lead to a whole new battle at bedtime.
Get Rid Of That Energy
However you choose to do this is up to you - but you have to give your child an outlet to burn their energy. Plan an activity for you to do together instead of sitting still all day. Stuck for ideas? Why not get a Family Bucket List to spark some inspiration!
Never underestimate the power of a bedtime routine in young children. Start slowly, an hour before bedtime, by turning all screens off and having some quiet time. Then create a consistent routine that your little one can associate bedtime with.
An example might be: bathtime, changing into pyjamas and fresh nappy, reading a book, milk, singing a song, and bedtime. Keep the lights low after bathtime and voices hushed. This association with bedtime will hopefully make the evening run more smoothly for you!
Use An Incentive
We’re not saying that the answer is to bribe your baby (aren’t we?), but sometimes an incentive can help keep everyone happy. It could be a new toy, their favourite breakfast in the morning, or the promise of an early outside adventure with their favourite snood.
Remember That You’re On The Same Side
We know that bedtimes can be stressful for both parents and toddlers. We also know that they can get quite heated and lead to shouting and upset. If every bedtime ends with a showdown between parent and child, it can set a negative association and make each day worse than the last.
No matter how difficult it might be in the moment, try and keep your cool so that you can work with your child to make bedtimes easier. If you’re calm, then your child will (hopefully!) follow.
A peaceful bedtime is something that every parent aspires to achieve, but many find it more difficult than it may seem. We hope that our five tips can leave you feeling a little more hopeful ahead of tonight’s bedtime.
Who knows - you might be pleasantly surprised with how these small changes can affect your evenings!