Parenting Tips: Bedtime Routines

Bedtime routines are important for children, regardless of their age or daytime activities. Irregular bedtime routines, or a lack of sleep, can cause irritability, increased negative emotions, learning problems, and a lack of motivation for daytime activities. Establishing and maintaining healthy sleep habits can not only help your child feel rested and refreshed, it gives you time to recharge and rest too. 

Getting to Sleep

Most children fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. However, this can vary based on how sleepy their bodies are, their daytime activities, and bedtime routines. Establishing a healthy and regular bedtime regular can give them time to unwind and settle down. This prepares their minds and bodies for rest, which helps them to fall asleep more easily.

Starting a Bedtime Routine

A good bedtime routine is a set of activities you perform in the same order, every night. It encourages good sleep patterns that helps our brains recognizes it is time to sleep. This helps children to connect with their natural circadian rhythms too. Your child's bedtime routine can range from 30 to 60 minutes, which you can alter according to your child's age and how long it takes for them to wind down from a day of high energy activities. 

You can prepare simple and light snacks to prepare your child for bedtime, to keep them from awaking for a midnight snack. Prepare a warm glass of milk to calm their stomachs before bed. You can also prepare yogurt or foods with high melatonin content, such as cherries, grapes, strawberries, nuts, and oats. 

Quiet Time

Quiet time is important for your child to take some time for themselves to reflect on their day and settle down for the night. Younger children might also appreciate spending this time to bond with you. For quiet time, you would want to choose relaxing activities to help their minds and bodies to unwind. 

For younger children, you can start off your bedtime routine with a shower, a simple bedtime story, and off to bed. Older children might want to read a book on their own to listen to gentle music, journal about their day or practice breathing for relaxation. 

Leave the Electronics Alone 

An important part of getting ready for bedtime is leaving the electronics alone. A bedtime movie, or child-friendly videos might not be the best activity in helping your child's brain calm itself down. Electronic devices, including computers, televisions, smartphones, and tablets, all emit strong blue light. This blue light floods your child's brain, and can trick it into thinking its daytime. This causes your child's brain to suppress melatonin production and works to stay awake. 

Squizzel Box has a In The Still Of The Night thematic learning box with 10 activities for your child to explore about nocturnal animals, light. The activities include science experiments, DIY crafts, and hands-on activities. It is the perfect starter kit to introduce the night time to your child. To make it more exciting, materials and step-by-step instructions are included in the box. That means fuss-free learning for busy working parents! 

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