If you let your children run wild in the hour before bedtime, they will be too worked up to go to bed. Your children will need some time to cool off before they even feel tired. Inspire your children to spend the hour before bedtime engaging in quiet activities, including reading, painting and playing with some favorite toys. Discourage your children from participating in activities that can lead to hyperactivity, including watching television.
Encouraging a night of good sleep requires some work on your part. First, you need to get your child a good and relaxing bed. Some stores offer beds for children that may look cute in a bedroom, but aren't very comfortable. Don't sacrifice quality when you buy beds for the kids. The best bed is comfortable and sized to fit your child.
You should aim to keep the bedroom at a cozy temperature throughout the night. During the summer, use an air conditioner or open a window to cool down the room. You can take advantage of dark shades to help your child's bedroom feel darker when the sun is still up in during a summer evening. In the winter, turn up the furnace a few degrees so your child will feel warm all night.
Maintaining a nightly bedtime routine helps establish guidelines and prepare your child for sleep. Many bedtime routines start with a refreshing bath to help relax your child. After the bath, you can give your child a small snack, such as cereal, with a glass of their favorite drink. When snack time is over, send your child to the bathroom to brush her teeth and finish getting ready for bed. If your child enjoys reading, read a book together. If you do read a book to your child, remember to set limits on the number of books you plan to read.
Getting your children to bed on time does not have to end in frustration for either you or your children. If you strive to help your children get enough sleep, you'll help them to feel rested and ready for school each morning.
This is a guestpost by Alex Summers.