10 tips for a better bedtime

Sleeping toddler cuddling teddy bear

Sleeping toddler cuddling teddy bear

Here are some tips from Relax Kids to help you with a smooth bedtime.

  • As bedtime approaches, prepare your child’s body for rest by turning the lights down a little, discouraging stimulating activities such as TV, computers and loud music. You may like to burn some calming lavender. Try to encourage your child to enjoy calming activities such as reading stories, jigsaws and colouring rather than rough and tumble play. You may like to practise some relaxation exercises or simple yoga stretches.
  • Establish a routine that your child becomes familiar with and knows he has to stick to no matter how much he resists – make a decision what time he goes to bed and stick to it. Let the routine include a lavender bath, a milky drink/fruit picnic, brushing teeth, toilet, and a soothing bedtime story (you could try the beautiful Aladdin’s Magic Carpet by Relax Kids) and finishing off with a long cuddle and lots of reassuring words. Try to let this routine be as calm and gentle as possible.
  • If there is a deep resistance, have a chat with your child and find out what the underlying problem is – it maybe that she really has a fear of being alone, or is scared of the dark or feels lonely or feels that she is missing out. Talking about her fears and getting lots of attention, understanding and assurance from you will help immensely.
  • Stay as patient as you can and keep the atmosphere as positive as possible – children who feel they have upset their parents as well as facing the night alone, find it even more difficult to relax and sleep.
  • If you can make bedtime a magical time, let her choose her favourite story and cuddle her favourite teddy. Sprinkle invisible fairy dust in the air or draw a circle of protection around them. Allow time for children to blow away their worries and fears.
  • A drop of lavender on a tissue near the pillow will help calm him down and be ready for a good nights sleep. A night light will bring a touch of magic to the room as well as alleviating any fears of being alone in the dark.
  • You may like to incorporate a little massage into their routine. This will deepen their feeling of security and feeling loved and cherished. Try stroking their face gently or softly circling the inside of their palm.
  • After their cuddle and kiss goodnight, develop a mantra such as goodnight, goodnight or sleep tight hope the bed bugs don’t bite. This mantra or repetitive saying will help your child settle.
  • After saying goodnight, be gentle but firm that the time for playing is over and its time to go and play or have an adventure in dreamland. Make sure your child feels he has had your undivided attention and feels totally loved and safe.
  • Dim the lights so she knows it really is time for bed – you may like to play some soft calming music or pop on a relaxation CD. The Relax Kids CDs are being used by thousands of children throughout the UK and parents have found them invaluable for giving children a tranquil bedtime experience.
  • If you have a digital radio, you might like to tune into DAB Fun Radio at bedtime or www.funradiolive.com. At 1pm, every weekday, listen to a four minute Relax Kids relaxation.