Does your little one have a tough time winding down at night? Sometimes the instigation of a bedtime ritual can be a huge help – a routine you follow every night that encourages the process of slowing down and preparing for sleep.
Everyone’s bedtime rituals differ, and there’s no right or wrong thing to do – the most important thing is that it is consistent and tailored to your child’s needs. Following are a few of our ideas for kids of all ages, and if you have some other ideas that have worked well for you, we would love to hear about them in the comments area.
Pick a time and stick to it. Because consistency is the most important part of a bedtime routine, sticking to the same time each night is crucial.
Bedtime bath. Even adults love a nice hot bath to unwind. Make after-dinner bath time a part of your ritual – besides getting clean, the warm water will encourage relaxation.
Bedtime stories. A bedtime story is an excellent way to wind down as well as encourage reading. Read aloud a pleasant story, or, with older children, a chapter of a longer book. Laying back and listening is a great way for them to unwind and take their mind off of anything that might have caused them anxiety that day.
Lullabies. A soft, sweet song that you sing each night, especially with toddlers, is a soothing ritual.
Have a comforting toy or blanket. Having something soft and snuggly to hold on to is like having a friend. A constant companion in the form of a teddy bear or blanky is a great way to help your child self-comfort after you’ve left the room.
What do you do for bedtime rituals with your children? What do you remember from growing up?