Published On: Mon, Jun 16th, 2014

Beauty or Beast Seven Ways To Get Your Kids Sleeping

Danielle Mantakoul

Danielle Mantakoul

BA of Ed Early Childhood and Editor at Mummy Weekly
She's described as one of the most engaging & dynamic speakers in the early childhood industry today, now having educated hundreds of thousands of parents & teachers. She has lectured for organisations such as KU Children’s Services, Only About Children, Qantas, National Australia Bank, Child Protection Australia, Goodstart and hundreds of council & private centres. She also developed and ran the popular parenting series for the Australian Financial Review.
Danielle Mantakoul

Beauty or beast 7 ways to get your kids sleepingSome of us mums are so tired we are falling over ourselves. This makes dealing with our kids difficult as fuses are short and patience depleted. But when you are dealing with a child who is finding it difficult to stay in bed or even go to bed, you are usually battling with this at night when you are at your most tired. Listed here are seven tips and tricks that you may like to try. Kids are different, so sometimes a strategy that may work with one child may not work for another.  Perhaps one of these will get the sleep fairy visiting your home tonight.

A BEAUTIFUL MY SPACE
Have items in the room that make for a more beautiful space such as fairy lights and family photographs. You know yourself if you are in a more aesthetically pleasing room that you enjoy being there more.  What does your child love? My son loves the ABC’s so I found these great alphabet glow in the dark wall stickers. He also loves space, so above his head is a glow in the dark solar system mobile. He loves them and they make it feel like “his” space.

QUIET THAT BUSY BRAIN
We want to have kids as calm as possible before bedtime. To do this consider limiting screen time before bed. Try swapping the TV or iPad for a storybook or quiet game. If mum or dad walk in the door around bedtime ensure this is not the signal to start rowdy play, a very common event as kids show their excitement at seeing mum or dad after a long day. If this has been a struggle in your home, you need to change that signal from coming home to mean rowdy play, to coming home meaning something like story time or chatting about the day time.

A CONSISTENT ROUTINE THAT RESPECTS INDIVIDUALITY
Bedtime routine is important and provides kids with consistent expectations. Kids are far more likely to follow through with what you want them to do if you have a routine. But just as we have ways we like to settle ourselves at bedtime kids do too, so remember to respect individuality when it comes to bedtime routine choices. Some kids like to sit up in bed and look at books before sleep, some like to sit with you and have a story, some like to spend time piling their soft toys into bed with them, some like a glass or water or milk, some have to go to the toilet… twice, some like the light on, the door open, the curtains a certain way. Assess if what they are requiring as part of their bedtime routine is helping or hindering and if the latter, it’s time to make changes with their input.

WHAT TIME IS IT?
Some kids can lay in bed for hours before going to sleep, and with little to think about other than getting up, this is a recipe for a difficult bedtime. Try story cd’s or music apps that your child can fall asleep listening to. Question if you’re setting the right time for bed, is it too early? Ensure you are changing the time the kids go to bed as they get older so as not to end up in pointless battles. If your child is waking at night, try a night light that is light enough that they can see their room as soon as they open their eyes. Some night lights are so low that they may as well not even be on. With a light that puts a gentle glow into the room, kids are less likely to wake up in the night, open their eyes, not be able to see a thing and waken even more because they are trying to work out where they are. If they can open their eyes to clearly see they are in their room, many kids can have a greater chance of when waking simply acknowledging where they are, then turning over and going back to sleep.

WHAT’S IN THE BED?
Only soft toys to bed. Sometimes my son wants to take a little Peppa Pig character to bed. The problem here is anything hard in the bed means a chance your child will end up laying on it and being woken so stick to the soft toys. (Babies should have no toys in their cots for safety reasons)

PJ POWER
Let your kids choose their own pyjamas for the evening, or when purchasing new ones, take your child with you to get their input. Small acts such as this dish out power to young children making them more likely to be agreeable and possibly even looking forward to bedtime.

KIDS ALWAYS DO THINGS FOR A REASON
If your child is getting up and getting up and getting up, you must have it in your brain that you can take them back to bed CALMLY a million times more than they can get up. Kids don’t do things for no reason, and once you show them CALMLY with no chit chat or eye contact there is no point to getting up because they will be taken back every single time, then your child learns that behaviour does not work. The reason I have put CALMLY in all caps is because if you take your kids back to bed ranting and raving then this provides them with attention as negative as it is. What we want to show our kids is that what you may consider poor behaviour gets them no attention. So if your child does stay in bed or settle well, ensure you praise the behaviour you desire.

By Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2014
www.mummyweekly.com.au

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  1. Renee says:

    I have got into the trap of patting my 17month old. There seems no escape from this.

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