We all know that getting your little ones to sleep at night can be a truly stressful process. All you want to do is get a peaceful night’s sleep with no interruptions but that never goes to plan, but what about if it could?
Pour yourself a cuppa and read through our guide on how to help your restless kids sleep.
Know How Much Sleep Your Child Should Be Getting.
Depending on how old your child is will depend how much sleep they should be getting each night. This is the first step in this guide as once you have figured out how much sleep you child should have, you are able to adjust the rest of the guide around the sleeping pattern and also when in your specific evening to start the proceedings.
- 1 to 4 Weeks Old (16-17 Hours Everyday)
- 1 to 4 Months Old (16-17 Hours Everyday)
- 4 Months to 1 Year Old (14-15 Hours Everyday)
- 1 to 3 Years Old (12-14 Hours Everyday)
Create Yourself A Bedtime Routine.
If you put the time into creating a bedtime routing that both you and your child can stick to, it will relieve so much stress from the nighttime schedule. The benefit of having a routine is that it allows your child to get used to the nightly tasks and they will begin to expect bedtime. It will allow them to sink into it and be prepared for it so when bedtime does eventually happen, they will be ready.
The best way to go about it is to start the bedtime routine around 30 minutes before they actually go to sleep. This can come down to switching off any and all electronic devices and dimming the lights, this will allow your child to pick up on these cues and prepare themselves for sleep.
Here is your typical bedtime routine:
- Bath Time
- Teeth Brushing
- Story time
As you can see, the routine does not have to be anything bombastic, just a simple bedtime routing that will allow your child to get into the sleeping mind-set.
Allow Your Child To Have Enough Exercise.
This may sound like the exact opposite of preparing for bed however if you also subtly prepare for it during the day, it will massively help you out later in the night. If you give your child a fair amount of exercise each day, they will use a lot of their energy, meaning that when it comes to bedtime, they will be ready for sleep as their bodies will be ready for a decent amount of rest.
Allow them to run around in the park, play in the house, whatever it is they like to do. Then when it is approaching bedtime, encourage them to wind down slowly so it is all going towards bedtime and they will be knocked out when their head hits the pillow.
No Sugar Or Caffeine Before Bed.
When it comes to winding your child down for bedtime, it is important that they do not get any additional sugar or caffeine intake as it can seriously disrupt their body clock. Sugar and Caffeine are both stimulants and therefore can cause their bodies to have a boost of energy and their brains to be stimulated, thus causing them to fight against going to sleep which is not what you want.
If your child requests a snack towards bedtime, give them something that will help them sleep such as a glass of warm milk or something a bit more light such as a fruit bag. You want to encourage them to sleep and by feeding them snacks and drinks with sugar/caffeine, you will be restricting that.
Turn Off All Screens.
Speaking of stimulants, a bright glaring screen is one of the biggest reasons as to why kids are not getting enough sleep these days. While you won’t have to worry about this with younger children, having any screens in their rooms can still disrupt their sleep.
Screens stimulate you due to the fact that when you look at a screen, it’s a bright light and it tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime, thus forcing your body to stay awake. This can make your child stay up for an extra 30 minutes to an hour if they have access to a screen/electronic device. So in order to avoid this from happening, remove any and all devices from their room.
Prepare Their Room For Sleep.
You want to create a feeling where once your child walks into their bedroom, they know that they are about to go to sleep. Therefore you want to make sure that their room gives off this message in a discreet and calming way.
Make the room as quiet as possible, noises can be a really big distraction when it comes to sleeping, so you want to make sure that you eliminate as much noise as possible that could seep it’s way into your child’s room. Some children do not like complete silence however, should this be the case then you should add in something such as a tune player, which plays relaxing music to help sooth your child, and help them fall asleep.
You should also try to make the room as dark as possible. The brain assumes that when it is dark, it is time to sleep. So by removing as much light as possible, you are retroactively making your brain shut down and go to sleep.
However once again some children do not like complete darkness, for some it can be a fear, so if this applies to your child, try applying a cosy nightlight into the room that emits a subtle coloured light to help them feel more safe and secure. The safer they feel, the easier it will be to sleep.
So there you have it, Bambizi’s guide to helping your restless children sleep at night. We hope that this guide will provide you with a easy way to get through those often disruptive nights where your child just won’t go down. These steps should all play a part in helping your little one have the best night’s sleep possible so that they are fully rested and eager for the day ahead, this may also allow you, the parents, to have some peaceful time to yourselves in the evenings too.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help to transform your nursery into something special, feel free to get in touch today.