Perhaps it comes as no surprise to many parent that 1 in 5 British children struggle to sleep at night. Childcare experts at Busy Bees have put together a useful five-step routine on how to make the process easier.
1.Turn screens off
Turn off any TVs and put phones or tablets away ahead of starting your child’s bedtime routine. Bright lights and noises can be a barrier to a smooth bedtime.
2. Run a bath
Running a warm bubble bath is a signal that it’s time to start calming down and the warm water should have a soothing effect on your child. If you are looking to adjust bedtime, keep them in the bath a little longer, or run it slightly earlier.
3. Pyjamas and teeth
Fresh out of the bath, get them cosy in their sleepsuits or pyjamas, followed by brushing their teeth. This is also a great signal that it’s time to wind down for bed.
4. Read books
Snuggle up and read some soothing stories together. The sound of your voice reading may even send them off to sleep. Alternatively, your child might prefer you to sing calming songs or lullabies.
5. Lights out
Finally, it’s time for a snuggle down, a firm ‘nighty night, sleep tight’ and lights out. A night-time routine shouldn’t add to your already heavy workload as parents. Try to keep timings tight, only allowing the whole process to last a set amount of time. It might take a while for your little one to get used to the routine but try to stick with it – consistency is often key.
Sadly, bedtime routines don’t always work as quickly and effectively as we might like! If you find something doesn’t fit with your family or lifestyle, change things slightly to discover what works better, such as trying things in a different order. Or perhaps reading to them when they are in bed, rather than on the sofa. Your child’s age and developmental phase has a huge impact on sleep.