Is your child having difficulty going to sleep? Not to worry! Here are five rituals that will help prepare your child for bedtime.
1. Hands-on Hygiene
A visit to the bathroom before bed is an excellent opportunity to practice hygiene skills. Let your child brush their teeth, wash their face, and use the potty on their own. If they need help, demonstrate how to do the tasks, but don’t do them for them.
2. Bring Out the Books
Books are a wonderful bedtime activity. To get a few extra cuddles in before lights-out, read a positive-themed story with your child. Engage them with the reading process. Let them pick out the book and encourage them to take turns reading aloud.
3. Put Those Pajamas On
Pajama time is a good opportunity for your child to learn how to independently change their clothes. To make the process more appealing, let your child choose their pajamas. Giving a child who loves the word ‘no’ a choice is the best way to mitigate fussiness and obstinance.
4. Mindful Meditation
The benefits of children’s meditation are boundless. Research shows that meditation can improve focus, lessen anxiety, promote calmness, encourage mindfulness, and, of course, induce sleepiness. Take a few minutes to meditate with your child before bedtime—you’ll benefit from it, too. If your child is the type that just can’t sit still, substitute stretching or yoga instead.
5. The Goodnight Guarantee
Like all other skills, calmly saying goodnight takes time to learn. Practice saying goodnight with your child by bidding goodnight to other family members, objects in your child’s bedroom (such as the lamp, hanging pictures, and stuffed animals), and the Moon. Going through this routine will help soothe your child’s nerves and reassure them that bedtime is a safe, normal thing.
It is okay to vary the bedtime routine slightly, but keep the key components the same. Make sure that bedtime preparation, final goodnights, and lights-out always happen at the same time each night. With some practice, your child will be a sleeping pro!