I started researching the importance of sleep for kids and found out so many interesting ways sleep impacts a child’s development. That led me to write an article Why is Sleep Important for Kids? a couple of weeks ago. That article led me to write another last week about a little tip that can help your baby sleep. Since most parents are desperate for more sleep, that article got a lot of positive praise! Due to the outpouring of love received, I decided to write a follow-up post with some of the things I used to do to get my boy to sleep when he was little.
How to Get Kids to Sleep
Attention – Our kids need our attention. I wrote a post a while ago about the benefits of reflective listening and it’s something that has really worked in my family. Just 15 minutes per day has made a difference in my relationship with my son.
Exercise – Kids need exercise and a lot of it. Think of something fun to do together and you’re giving your kids attention and getting exercise. You can also enroll them in sports. My son started playing soccer when he was three. It was so good for him to get his little boy energy out plus he still loves soccer!
Outside – Get those kids outside whenever you can and for as long as you can. I know I am exhausted after spending time outside which means your kids are too.
Swim – I always try to find opportunities for my son to swim. It’s great exercise, teaches an important (and potentially lifesaving) skill, and it tires that boy out! After a day at the pool or the beach we both come home and are ready for bed!
Food – Who can sleep on an empty stomach? A nice, home cooked meal tires us all out.
Bath – I love baths at night for two reasons. First, it relaxes kids so they are ready to fall asleep. Second, if you had a good day, they’re usually filthy. I hate putting a filthy child in a nice clean bed. So the bath prepares them for bed and if it’s a habit, it will signal to their bodies that it’s bedtime.
Limit Screen Time – The flashing lights on televisions and computers stimulates children (and adults) and makes it harder for them to turn their brains off for sleep. Make sure your child is to exposed to electronics within a n hour or two before bed.
Create Bedtime Rituals – Reading stories is a great one in addition to some of the tips above. My son is 14, and I don’t read to him anymore but I still go in his room every night and talk to him for a few minutes before bed.
When Ty was little, I used to play hard with him outside for an hour (minimum), give him a hearty dinner, let him play in the bath for a while, get him into his jammies, read a story, and he would be out cold!
What are some of the things you do to get your kids to sleep?
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