Sleep is important to how your child learns, grows, and even behaves. Children who get enough sleep regularly do better in school and have fewer behavior issues. They are able to regulate their emotions and feel better about themselves.
I read The Life Project by Helen Pearson. The Life Project is about a remarkable series of scientific studies that have tracked generations of children growing up in Britain over the last 70 years. Bedtime routine and Regular Bedtime hours are one of the key ingredients to well in school and life.
Regular bedtime reduces power struggle at home. Set a regular bedtime, including the weekends.
Discover how a regular bedtime routine can help your child get enough sleep. It can also make bedtime easier for you!
Ideas to Build Your Own Bedtime Routine
- Ensure your child had enough healthy playtime with you. (Device-free) choice of activity
- Turn off screens at least 2 hours before bedtime (this really helps). The device light makes my child fight bedtime as it’s too stimulating for her brain.
- Take a bath to cool down. Normally she takes a bath at 4pm after school. So at 6pm, she just takes a quick shower.
- Brush our teeth together.
- Empty bladder. She always has a book by the toilet with a bookmark.
- Lotion and massage, skin touch helps to calm her down. Apply essential oil to ease breathing on the chest and feet. Massage tummy.
- Get into clean comfy pajamas. Eucalyptus oil to cleanroom air.
- Read a storybook, child to pick a book or two. Or choose to tell stories about my childhood, my child when she was a baby, or even makeup stories about shapes and colour.
- Anyone can call for a family meeting. We take turns to talk about our highs and lows and plans for the week.
- If your child drinks milk, drink milk and burp. Always ensure their tummy is comfortable for a good night’s sleep.
- Huggie time, feel the heartbeat.
- Talk in the dark, share stories about the day. Normally children like to do this.
- Singsong, pat/scratch back for a while.
I will normally be there until she falls asleep. She sleeps from 6.30/7 pm until the next morning at 6.30 am. Weekdays, weekends, holidays we follow. Consistency is the word.
Please note that my daughter is turning 5 this year. She slept in a baby cot for 2 years in her own room then developed separation anxiety when I enrolled her in daycare. Then, I co-slept for the next 2.5 years.
It’s also good to remember that crying is a healthy expression of feelings.. we ALL cry. What’s important is not ignoring the crying. You can validate, you can empathize, you can be there. It’s like when your child needs a shot or medicine and they cry. The crying doesn’t prevent you from giving them what they need. You just try to be there for them through it and they’re fine.
I sleep in the same room but on a different bed. We both get the sleep we need. It took us time to get to where we are now.
Successful parenting is not about sleep training. Co-sleep as much as you and your child needs.