Bedtime is that bittersweet time of night where we know what the outcome is, but aren’t always sure how the transition will go. Some kiddos will fall asleep very routinely no matter what, and others it might be a miracle if they fall asleep before you. And of course, everything in between. After the day is done and the evening has crept up upon us, the winding down process can play a big role in how easily we can get our kids to bed. Their little bodies can still be wound up from all the activities of the day, and their minds seem to always be in a state of excitement… even if they are exhausted.
It’s common for kids to want to fight sleep even if their eyelids weigh 100 pounds. In return, that can play a tough role on parents when bedtime comes around. There tends to be this great feeling of victory once their sweet little heads hit the pillows, their eyes rest and you hear that heavy sigh of relief as they finally surrender themselves into a comfortable sleep. But it’s that in-between time, from dinner to lullabies, that can be pretty tricky at times. As much as we would love to let them stay up for one more hug, one more kiss, one more anything they can think of… we also know that sleep is important, especially for their busy little bodies. Not to mention, parents are normally more than ready for some quiet time of their own.
If you have a child who thinks of bedtime as their prime time to challenge you and become creative with how they can get away with staying up later, you already know that creates stress on tension. Which then adds to an even more difficult time for them to fall asleep. Of course, that’s something no one wants. And if your kiddos look at bedtime as a time to graciously getting their beauty rest in without putting up a fight, oh you lucky thing you. Either way, these additions to a bedtime transition can provide that in-between time with comfort and ease.
Dim the lights and sounds
About an hour or so before bedtime, start to wind everything down. The lights, the music, the TV. Let it be a time for their mind and body to start prepping for sleep. Once certain distractions are hushed, the bridge to bedtime will be crossed more easily.
Make a Sleepy Tea
There are many sleepy time teas out there, so make sure to find one that is specifically made for kids. This doesn’t make them pass out as if they just took Benadryl after a full day of swimming, in any comparison. What it can do, is encourage a healthy transition to help them into an easier and better sleep. Teas with lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, and catnip. Are great calming teas. Yes-catnip. Make a cup of tea for them to have with or slightly after their dinner.
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom Salt helps replenish magnesium levels in the body. It can help ease aches and pains while promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation. If your kiddos ever hold any tension in the evening or before bedtime, a cozy warm Epsom Salt bath could be their ticket to a good night’s rest. Another bonus is it does, in fact, encourage an improved sleep.
Create a calming and relaxed atmosphere by adding essential oils to their room. You can put a diffuser in their room and add lavender, or other calming sprays. Or create your own mix and spray it over their pillows and sheets.
Shortly before bed, create a simple stretching routine. Stretching targets many areas where we hold stress and tension, and can actually help improve a good night’s rest. This gives your child a chance to unwind and breath. Plus it helps work into certain physical areas that might be sore from running and playing all day.
Provide a Before Bedtime Snack
Depending on what time your family has dinner, your child could very well develop an appetite around the same time they’re picking out their bedtime book. Allow them to have a healthy snack during that time so they can stay satisfied will a full belly throughout the night. This could even help with all those, “just one more thing” moments. Bananas, oatmeal, peanut butter, and grapes are all great options as they provide melatonin and tryptophan. Which are natural sleep-aids.
Create a Cozy Space
A room and bed without many distractions will help improve the process of falling asleep. Have them tidy their room prior to bedtime to make it calmer and inviting. A clear, clean spaces allow us to have a more comfortable sleep.
Bedtime doesn’t always have to be stressful, nor does it have to be totally predictable. Create a comfortable transition from the evening until after the sunsets so both parents and kiddos can have a night of peace. Plus, it’s a helpful way to hear those sweet sleepy sighs of surrender in no time.