By Jacob MaslowBranded Content

Bedtime is one of the most routine things in a child’s life, and yet it can sometimes feel like a minefield. Studies show that having a bedtime routine improves your child’s mood and behavioral regulation. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to make bedtime a special event every night. But what if you could still find ways to make it more fun, safer, and easier for your little one?

Bedtime routines change as circumstances change over time. Many bedtime routines include basics like a bath, brushing their teeth, and giving them a sleep patch. But some kids are just going to be more demanding before they settle down for the night. Creating a safe and enjoyable nighttime routine for many parents is as simple as following these five tricks.

  • Get to the Bottom of Bedtime Rituals

All habits begin with a ritual of some kind. Whether we are aware of it or not, there is usually a reason behind the way we do things. Adding a sleep patch can seem like a fun perk to your child, but the soothing aromas are there to do a job. It’s worth exploring your child’s current bedtime rituals and figuring out what they might mean.

Most of us have rituals that run through our minds when we go to bed, and we may not even realize it. Our minds are processing and replaying events, fantasies, or even worries that have happened throughout the day. The trick is to be aware of these patterns and then change them.

  • Make Bedtime a Family Affair

There is no better time to bond as a family than at bedtime. For some families, this will come naturally, while others will have to make a conscious effort to make bedtime a more family-oriented affair.

If you have older children, they may already be involved in their own bedtime rituals, but you can still get them involved in the rest of the routine. For example, you might want everyone to read together for a few minutes or take turns reading a story out loud to their stuffed animals.

  • Set a Timer for Bed

You can set a timer for how long you would like your child to stay awake before bed. Once the timer goes off, it will encourage your child to start winding down and preparing for bed. This is the perfect time to give children a sleep patch. If your child doesn’t go to bed sleepy enough, he or she will be unable to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Even children who do fall asleep too early will probably wake up too early. For many children, especially those who are younger or have difficult-to-manage sleep schedules, setting a timer for bed provides a consistent, safe and effective way to end the day.

  • Create a Bedtime Story

Bedtime stories are as old as time, but they are also as new as your imagination. If you are lucky enough to have a child who is still young enough to enjoy being read to, or if you yourself are still young enough to enjoy reading out loud, then you should definitely be reading stories to your child before bed.

But what if your child is older and no longer wants to be read to? One way to do this is to use a creativity app or a story-generating website. You can type in words such as “bedtime stories” and the name of your child to generate random story ideas. These can be silly, serious, or a mix of both, depending on what you are looking for.

  • Encourage Movement and Song Before Bed

For many parents, the thought of your child running around the house before bedtime seems dangerous, inappropriate, or just plain silly. But physical activity, especially with some music and singing thrown in, can actually help your child wind down, prepare for sleep and even improve their quality of sleep. Let them tire themselves out and reward them with a sleep patch!

If your child is old enough, you can try doing gentle yoga poses or stretches together before bed. If your child is younger, you can do movements such as swinging your arms, tapping your feet, or gently bouncing on the spot. If you have enough space in your home, you can try dancing together to some music before bed.

Sleep on It

Consistent bedtime routines can be beneficial for everyone, especially children. They help children wind down, relax and prepare for sleep. They also help regulate a child’s sleep patterns. While the routine can vary from child to child, it’s important for children to have consistent bedtimes and bedtime rituals such as being given a sleep patch so that they can develop good sleeping habits. Bedtime routines are important for everyone, no matter what. Sleep tight!

Photo Courtesy // Jacob Maslow //