You know the feeling. You’re on the brink of exhaustion and need a good night’s sleep. But your little one just won’t go down. Instead, they’re up every half hour, wide awake and full of energy.
As parents, we are often tempted to give in and let them stay up late to play or watch TV with us. But that only delays their bedtime and makes it harder for them to fall asleep when it’s time for lights out.
So how do you get toddlers and teens to sleep? Here are some tips to help you get your kiddos ready for bed:
- Choose a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Keep these times as consistent as possible throughout the week. Too much variation can make it hard for your child’s body clock to adjust and can cause frustration for everyone involved.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes everything you do before bedtime — such as brushing teeth and reading stories — so that it becomes part of their nightly routine. Make sure that this time is quiet and calm, so they know it’s time for sleep.
- Make sure your child isn’t hungry before bedtime; if they are hungry, they may have difficulty settling down at night.
- If your child has trouble getting enough sleep during the day, try giving them naps during the day instead of letting them stay up late at night — this may help them fall asleep easier at night too!
- Be boring. Boring is good when it comes to bedtime routines — no surprises! Your child should know exactly what’s going to happen from the moment he gets into his pajamas until he falls asleep in his crib or bed. That way he’ll know what’s coming next, which will help him relax and drift off into dreamland faster than if you were surprising him every night with something new.