Bedtimes are set so that the child can learn to sleep independently and regularly throughout the night. The bedtimes set by parents are followed regularly. Bedtimes are also essential because it’s a great bonding experience for the parents with the child. The bedtime keeps changing as per the age and habits of your baby but it should be consistent. There are some habits and activities that will have a positive effect on the child if it is included in the bedtime.
Habits and activities for an ideal bedtime routine
Start it early-
it is essential to start a bedtime early for your child. You cannot expect the child to follow the bedtime if you initially let the child play and have fun late in the night and then expect them to go to bed early one day. It needs to be introduced at an early age for the child to sleep soundly at night.
The bedtime has to be age-appropriate. The infant will go to sleep after drinking milk whereas a toddler will sleep after listening to stories. Your bedtime should have activities that are compatible with your child’s age. It’s also imperative that the bedtime is kept short and non-elaborate.
Many children get scared when they wake up in the middle of the night and find that their parents aren’t in the room. Have a security toy or blanket with them. If they wake up in the night and find their security object they will learn to sleep by themselves and hence be independent.
Let the child choose-
The child cannot choose the time of the bedtime but they can choose the activities to do before bedtime. Let them decide the security object. They can even pick out the book that they want you to read to them. Let them also choose their PJs as well as let them play with toys in the bath.
A little crying is ok-
Most children will cry before sleeping or if they woke up in the middle of the night. Initially, they will resist going to bed at a fixed time when they can play at that time. It’s normal and don’t get stressed. As long as you can pacify them in a short while, you will be okay and the child will eventually convert the bedtime routine into a habit.
Brushing the teeth before bed is a habit that should be followed in adulthood as well. When children are taught to brush their teeth and wear their PJs every day before bed, they will develop this habit for a longer time in their life. This will also condition their brain to understand that brushing the teeth and PJs is associated with seeping and they will start getting drowsy. Avoid them wearing the PJs in the day.
At the young age children often suffer from bed wetting. If you include the habit of going to the bathroom every night before sleep then they will stop bed wetting eventually. Many parents also wake up the child in the night to go to the bathroom from preventing them to wet the bed in the middle of the night.