Bedtime is akin to battle time in most households with smaller children. Young active children often do not want to go to bed at night. They fear that they will miss out on some family activities after they go to bed.
They sometimes stay awake to test the parents’ limits. Often bedtime is hassled with running around and dragging the child to bed. Here are some tips to soothe bedtime fights.
Set a daily routine before bedtime. This should be followed consistently everyday. A bedtime routine could include bathing, brushing teeth, getting into a night suit, reading stories, and falling asleep.
It is important for a child to have adequate physical activity during the day. This will tire them out and the child will be more willing to go down to sleep without much fuss in the night. Also, it is important to regulate their afternoon nap time. A nap taken earlier in the day keeps them energetic later in the evening and then makes it easy to wind down for the night. Based on the child’s age, determine if the child needs to take a shorter nap in the afternoon, so he/she may sleep well at night.
Plan to spend quality time with the child during the day or later in the evening. This prevents the child from battling for your exclusive attention and thereby dragging out sleep time. It is a good idea to have a fixed bedtime everyday. Younger children are slaves of habit and will appreciate a routine. They will be able to anticipate the run down to bedtime everyday and will make less of a fuss.
Reading a book before putting the child to bed allows you time to cuddle up with the child. The child in turn feels secure and loved and will be willing to co-operate and go to bed by himself. The child will not resist bedtime, if they know what to expect. Studies have shown that a cup of warm milk will help a child to sleep well through the night!