Many adults do not have a good sleeping routine and nearly four million Americans suffer from insomnia. Many people find it difficult to go to sleep at night and lay in bed for hours trying to fall asleep. To give our children the best possible night’s sleep, and to help them transfer their bedtime routine from childhood to adulthood, it is crucial that we start great bedtime routines when our children are young.
Every doctor will tell new parents that a normal bedtime routine is crucial to helping their children grow and develop. A good night’s sleep helps children rest, helps their brain develop, helps their body grow, and helps them have the energy for the next day.
A bedtime routine can help children fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and teach them how to wake up. A good routine can also reduce the risk of developing sleep problems later in life. Here are some things that parents can do to help start a bedtime routine for their children.
Start at the Same Time Every Night
Every doctor and parent will tell you that consistency is key. Starting the bedtime routine at the same time every night will help establish a strict routine for your children. If they understand what to expect and know that the routine does not change, they will be more likely to follow the routine that you and your spouse have set. Setting the rule for when bedtime is can start your child on the best path to establishing good sleeping habits.
Model Good Sleep Habits
Children need to see that children are not the only ones that must follow a bedtime routine. If they see that their parents also have a routine and follow rules for bed, they will be more inclined to listen to the rules. When parents model good sleep habits, their children are more likely to follow them as well.
Talk Out the Strategy
Each family has a different rule for bedtime routines and for when bedtime is. While there is no right or wrong way to have a bedtime routine, it is crucial that you and your spouse are on the same page. You and your spouse should talk about what strategy you plan on using to help get your child to sleep and what to do if your child wakes up during the night.
For example, some parents may use the cry it out method, while other parents do not. As long as you and your partner are on the same page and are implementing the rules the same way, you cannot go wrong. As children get older, you and your spouse should talk about what routines you may want to use. You can use baths, stories, television, books, and many other things. Before starting a new bedtime routine, discuss the strategy with your spouse so no one is caught off guard.
Take Note of Sleep Problems
While a bedtime routine is a great way to reduce the risk of sleep problems, some children will still develop issues during sleep. You should monitor your children while they sleep and take notes of any sleep problems that develop. For example, some children may snore, have difficulty breathing, or may wake up during the night. These things can all be discussed with your doctor. If you notice that your children have sleep problems, you first need to record how often the sleep problems happen and then talk to your doctor about possible solutions. They are the best people to help you when your child is having trouble sleeping because they can assist you and give advice as needed.
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Morning
Most adults wake up at the same time every morning and the same should be true for children. If children wake up at the same time every morning, they will likely have an easier time waking up at the same time every morning as they age. Waking up is just as important as going to sleep so try having a morning routine for your children as well. Each morning children may have a routine that includes brushing teeth, showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and more. Starting these routines young will make it easier to follow as they grow up and become adults themselves.