Whether we’re talking about nap time or bedtime, getting kids to sleep can be a struggle. Every child is different, and we know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for helping kids fall asleep. But if you’re trying to figure out ways to help your kiddo sleep at night, check out some of our favorite ideas below.
Turn on a Night Light
If your child is scared of the dark, consider buying a soft night light to brighten their room a little bit. Another idea is to put glow-in-the-dark stars on your child’s bedroom ceiling. This fun alternative to a nightlight will not make the room so bright, and it may soothe your child’s fears of the dark.
Lull Them with a Lullaby
Play soft instrumental music or nature sounds to quiet your child’s mind and help her fall asleep. Alternatively, pick a bedtime podcast for your child to listen to. Peace Out Podcast, Soundwalks, and Bedtime Explorers are a few options. (Check out more podcasts for kids.)
Soothe with Aromatherapy
Essential oils can create a calm environment for your kids and help them fall asleep. Three of the most common oils that may aid sleep are lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood. Start diffusing oils half an hour before bedtime, so your child’s room is inviting when it’s time for bed.
Limit Sugar Before Bed
Sugar and caffeine can have a negative effect on children when it’s time for bed, so it’s best to avoid desserts or snacks up to two hours before bedtime. Juice, chocolate milk, ice cream are just a few of the common treats that kids shouldn’t have right before bed. Limiting these items may help your child wind down each night.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
While you’re limiting sugar and caffeine before bed, you can cut down on screen time as well. Children sleep better if they haven’t been staring at a screen for one to two hours before it’s time for bed. The blue light from electronic screens can disrupt the body’s natural “winding down” process. This can be a challenge if screens are already part of the night time routine, but consider transitioning screen time to an afternoon activity. Some non-screen evening activities include coloring, reading, playing with stuffed animals, or even listening to a podcast or audio book. (And you parents will benefit from this rule as well!)
We understand that bedtime can be a challenge, but we hope these tips help make yours a little smoother.