When you become a parent, other than choosing the best formula for baby, sleep becomes one of the most talked-about subjects in your life. Anything from “have they slept through the night yet” to “when will I ever sleep again” is most likely to feature in your day!
Consistency is the golden ticket when it comes to parenting, and you can bet your bottom dollar that having a good bedtime routine in place for your child will set their sleeping trend.
With that in mind, here’s are a few simple tips to create the best routine for your child:
Set a bedtime
Everyone has an internal body clock. It’s how our brains know how to distinguish between night and day. So for your child, having a definitive pattern or routine in place that helps them to establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle is all part of their development.
Think of it as a master switch in your brain that responds to environmental cues, i.e. light and dark. When your circadian rhythm is working correctly, you are more likely to get better restorative sleep.
Now think about your little one. They are growing and developing at a rapid rate. They need all the quality sleep they can get for everything from their immune system to brain to function well.
What’s more, when you have a set bedtime, there is little room for arguments! Instead, an expectation is built, and your child will become more naturally tired, the closer they get to their bedtime.
Bathtime, fun time
Most children love a bath. It is a sensory experience that not only gets you fresh and clean, but you can get lost in a magical world of bubbles, pirates and fairies. Then there are the relaxing properties from the warm water itself.
According to the Sleep Medical Review, one of the cues for sleep is a drop in body temperature, which coincidentally naturally occurs in the evening. When you have a warm bath, your body’s temperature increases until you step out of the water, and you get cold pretty quickly.
Remember the circadian rhythm we mentioned earlier?
Well, according to the review, your body’s temperature begins to drop around an hour before usual sleep time, before dropping to its lowest between the middle and latter part of your nighttime sleep. As your body temperature begins to rise again, it acts as a biological alarm clock wake-up signal. “The temperature cycle leads the sleep cycle and is an essential factor in achieving rapid sleep onset and high-efficiency sleep.”
So when you consistently have bathtime as part of your child’s routine, they are more likely to fall asleep quickly and for a quality amount of time. Like we said, children thrive on routine.
Don’t neglect oral hygiene
Toothbrushing can often become an odd taboo for parents. Some parents believe that milk teeth have no significance and that a child’s adult teeth are the only thing they should worry about. However, a VIPCare dentist in Tampa would tell you otherwise.
As soon as your baby tastes milk for the first time, whether breast or formula, sugary deposits are left swirling around their gums. When left alone, these sugars can turn into decay-causing bacteria. Fortunately, with a soft, damp cloth or specially formulated dental wipe, you can gently remove any leftover sugars or bacteria from your babe’s gums, or when it gets worse, go visit a professional like dentist Yeronga to get the proper procedure removing it.
Before you know it, you have already started your baby on their oral hygiene journey.
When your child’s first tooth cuts, you can introduce a soft, round-headed toothbrush. It’s an easy addition to bathtime, as they are already in the water!
Later, when more teeth arrive, you can add a small pea-size amount of toothpaste to strengthen enamel and freshen their breath. For extra support, baby electric toothbrushes are available. Whatever stage your child is at, make sure you are there to show them how it’s done correctly to develop the best toothbrushing habits.
Storytelling has been at the heart of cultures since the dawn of time. From the classic fable passed on through the generations to the epic fairytales we all know and love, stories shape our ideas and perception of the world around us. Few things in life are more important than reading to your child.
What better way to inspire your little one’s imagination than to read to them, especially at bedtime. It is a perfect bonding moment that will stick with them for a lifetime. So journey through woodlands and castles, and explore different cultures all from the comfort of home. To make it more comforting you can add some house plants around your child’s sleeping area. Your child will thank you for it later!
Children always feel more confident at nighttime when they are already comfortable with the space around them. So let your little ones explore and play in their room during the day. When they are old enough, allow them to add design features to their room to feel like they have some ownership over their bedroom.
A broken nights sleep is no fun for anyone. Sometime, your little one might want nothing but you to get them to sleep. Either they have formed habits that you may have accidentally fed into, such as being rocked or fed to sleep that have more significant impacts later on in life.
When comfort and security are all your child needs, a kids weighted blanket can help ease their constant need for your presence. Designed with deep pressure stimulation, a weighted blanket feels like a warm hug. A welcome addition for the child that needs that extra support to sleep, no?
What’s more, weighted blanket’s are linked to quality sleep as they make you feel grounded and secure throughout the night. For a child, that is a massive concept. Having the reassurance of a hug can make a real difference to everyone’s night’s sleep.
It’s not a one size fits all
You know your child better than anyone. You are their strength, anchor and one person that helps them feel safe and secure in the world around them. You might also be their best friend and playmate. Whatever type of parent you are, your parenting and lifestyle will reflect that.
So remember, don’t be hard on yourself when nothing seems to be going right. Parenting will never be a one size fits all kind of deal because your child is unique.