How Can Bedtime Rituals Help Your Child Sleep?
Reviewed & Edited by: M. Rebecca DiLettuso, MSW, Executive Director
Is bedtime often a challenge for your child? You can hear it now: “Just one more story Mommy!” “I need a drink of water Daddy!” “There is a monster under my bed!”
At teli, through our Early Intervention services, our therapists work with parents to help them establish a routine that their child can begin to anticipate and embrace when it is time for bed. A calming nighttime routine helps to prepare your child for a peaceful night’s sleep!
Here are some of the most popular suggestions we have provided to parents of children experiencing sleep problems:
- Stick to a Schedule – A consistent routine bedtime is important to help a child prepare to wind down and get ready for bed.
- Activity During the Day – Keep your child active physically throughout the day so their body is ready for sleep
- Comfort – Be sure their bed and PJ’s are comfortable
- Tech Free Zone – Your child should not use ipads, watch TV or use other electronics within 90 minutes of bedtime
- Reduce Clutter– Involve your child in a quick clean up in their bedroom to signal an end to a day and a preparation for a new day in the morning.
- Calming Activities – A gentle massage to a child’s back and feet, quiet play and a bedtime story or two to begin the transition to relaxation. Tucking in their stuffed animals for the night can also help.
- Calming Environment – Cool room temperature, soft music and lighting from a small night light if your child is not comfortable in a dark environment can “set the mood”. Blue light from electronic screens should be avoided.
- Light Nighttime Snack- Light snacks such as milk or fruit that is easily digested is perfect. Be sure to avoid foods that contain caffeine, chocolate for example, or significant amounts of refined sugar. A glass of water in reach may also be a good idea.