Getting children into a good bedtime routine is crucial but certainly challenging and I remember from my own kids, that it can be just as painful and upsetting for me as it is for them. When I used to leave them to cry for ten minutes before running into their bedroom, but sometimes we just have to be cruel to be kind if we want to have uninterrupted sleep!
The biggest difficulty is often that children can’t settle themselves to sleep at the start of the night. Some children need a parent in bed with them, to rocked in a pushchair, or even driving around in a car to be able to fall asleep. Once they come through the sleep cycle to a point of a partial awakening and they find the conditions have changed they need attention. Teaching children to soothe themselves to sleep can be done gently and gradually but it is possible and just takes time and patience.
Sometimes children have sensory issues that impact on their night time sleep. For example if your child is very noise sensitive during the day they are likely to be the same at night time. Some find that white, pink noise or even music can help with this issue. Children need consistency so make sure the same conditions are used throughout the night. Likewise some children are very touch-sensitive and do not want to be covered at night or they need really soft sleepwear to wear in bed – that is where we fit in.
Kids like us can also get cold in the night, but with our thermo-regulatory fabric, Homebody sleepwear can prevent them waking in the early hours. We have found over the years, by wearing the familiar and soothing Homebody fabric, children sleep much better and love wearing our simple easy bedtime styles that ensure they stay asleep and feel comforted from morning to night!
So here are my tips for sleep training your children:
- Have a fixed bedtime
- After bath time every night sit with them and read a book together
- Stay in the bedroom and dim the lights
- No snacks and only sips of water for the older ones
- Sometimes calming music can help
- Allow half an hour for putting them into bed
- Give them time to make a wish list or a prayer – whatever works for you
- Once the book is finished and wishes done, kiss goodnight and leave the room
- Allow them time to adjust to this new routine
Remember routine takes time but it will be worth it in the end!