The hours leading up to sleep should be relaxing and quiet times at the end of the day, a phase in which the parent guides their children to the world of dreams so they can find the rest they need. Unfortunately, many parents are convinced that the real night monsters are their children and not the ones who are supposedly hiding in the closet! If you can't get your child to sleep (and make sure that he doesn't wake up during the night), continue reading this article for some useful advice on how to manage a problem, sometimes stressful, with patience and good mood.. In a short time, once you put your baby to bed, you will be able to see all the films that you have not yet been able to see and, moreover, your child will wake up the next day well rested and in a good mood.
Method 1 of 5: Establish an Adequate Evening Routine
Step 1. Decide how many hours of sleep your child needs
Each child is different from the other and everyone goes through periods in which more or less rest is needed, but there are general rules to follow based on age. Once you understand the number of hours, calculate the right time to put your child to bed based on when they need to get up.
- Young children (1 to 3 years old) normally need 12-14 hours of sleep a day, some of which may correspond to an afternoon nap.
- Preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) may eliminate naps, but still need 11-13 hours of sleep per night.
- Kids ages 5-12 will be well rested with 10-11 hours of sleep.
- Teens (ages 13 and up) still need plenty of rest and should sleep 9 to 10 hours a night.
Step 2. Establish specific times
Consistency and predictability are key factors for kids of all ages, so you'll need to establish a clear schedule that your child will know they need to stick to in the evenings.
Decide when her homework is finished, when she will have a bath, when she will need to put on her pajamas, and at what time the usual bedtime stories or lullabies will begin
Step 3. Work out the evening schedule with your child
Your child will be more likely to stick to rules and schedules if they feel like they have a say in the evening's activities.
Sit down to create the program together and have fun creating a poster or a graphic in which all the phases are outlined. Afterwards, hang the billboard in a strategic place (ideally near a clock) that you can both consult during the evening
Step 4. You must be willing to adjust schedules based on your child's age
If you notice that your near-adolescent or adolescent child begins to vary their sleep-related habits, it could be because their biorhythms are changing. He may want to stay awake a little longer or may not even be able to go to bed early. Despite this, if he has to get up early, rest is a must in order to behave properly at school and be prepared to learn.
Periodically, check with your growing child how you can rearrange schedules so that rest is always a priority
Step 5. Schedule activities your child hates long before bedtime
If one of the activities your child hates is unavoidable, try to anticipate it so that it is not negatively associated with bedtime.
For example, while bathing is a relaxing time in the daily routine for many children, bathing (or showering) could be a nightmare for your child. If this is the case, try shifting bathroom time between dinner and bedtime stories or games so your child doesn't have to deal with it just before bed
Step 6. Give your child alerts as bedtime approaches
If you notify him in time, the risk of having a tantrum before going to sleep will decrease. This way, he will be able to mentally prepare himself to shift gears and move from one activity to another.
For example, give your child five minutes 'notice before bath time and another five minutes' notice before heading to the bedroom to tell him the bedtime story
Step 7. Give your child a choice
The feeling of choice can be important to children of all ages, so even if yours is a rigid schedule, you can always find ways to get your child to exercise some control.
For example, once your child has taken a bath and put on his pajamas, you can ask him, “What do you want to do now? Do you want to choose the fairy tale or the stuffed animal to sleep with?"
Step 8. Incorporate rituals into your evening habits
Together with your child, invent an evening ritual that he will be eager to do with you and that will remind him, as he does it, that bedtime is approaching.
For example, you might start by reading two fairy tales while lying next to him, sing his favorite lullaby, say prayers, say a few "I love you," kiss him goodnight, then turn off the lights
Step 9. Prepare your child's bedroom for rest
Arranging your child's room for the night could be part of the evening routine. For example, you can help him arrange all the stuffed animals around the bed or spread the "dream dust" around the room.
Use your imagination and try to find a way to make your child's room and bed a warm, inviting and magical place to sleep
Step 10. Hunt the monsters away
If your child is afraid of the dark and fears that there are monsters hiding under the bed, you should be able to alleviate their worries by inventing a special "anti-monster spray" that you can spray all over the room before turning off the lights.
He won't guess it's just water in a spray bottle
Step 11. Plan with your child what they will dream about
You may be able to get your child excited about going to sleep if you decide together what will happen in his dreams. What adventures will he go into tonight? Will he and his plush friends travel to Never Land just like Peter Pan in the fairy tale you just read?
Remember to ask your child what they dreamed of when they wake up. You could even help him keep a dream journal to write and illustrate together. He may be even more impatient to fall asleep at night if he is sure he can enter a new story in his journal the next morning
Step 12. Avoid being with your child when they fall asleep
Even if your child wants to be with you until he falls asleep and despite the temptation to give him some extra cuddles, you could get in trouble if he gets used to your presence while he falls asleep - without you he won't be able to fall asleep again.
If your child needs you to cuddle, rock him or sing him a lullaby, he won't be able to go back to sleep on his own if he wakes up during the night. This is what is sometimes referred to as 'sleep onset disorder by association'
Step 13. Provide your child with transition items
His favorite stuffed animal or blanket can effectively replace your presence.
Tuck your child under the sheets along with his stuffed animal friend, toy or favorite blanket, then make sure Teddy, for example, will help him fall asleep
Step 14. Build a special sleep pillow with your child
Your child may be eager to go to sleep if you make a special sleeping pillow (or blanket) together: decorate it with happy and reassuring thoughts, images, poems.
You can also put a magic formula on the pillow that will allow your child to have good dreams, have fun and rest well
Step 15. Be consistent (as much as possible) over the weekend
In general, it is important to try to respect these rules as much as possible. As a family, you may be tempted to twist the schedule over the weekend.
Your child may need an extra hour of sleep over the weekend, but letting them sleep late could make Sunday nights (because they don't fall asleep) and Monday mornings (because they can't wake up) unsustainable
Method 2 of 5: Improving the Environment Your Child Sleeps in
Step 1. Create some white noise
Some parents are amazed to see the seemingly instantaneous improvement in their children's sleep quality after introducing a source of white noise into the room. White noise can overwhelm any distraction from the rest of the family or mask any sudden, random noises your child may be dwelling upon when falling asleep, such as housework or the clatter of plumbing.
You can buy devices that emit white noise, download free or inexpensive tablet applications, or simply turn on a common fan
Step 2. Play some relaxing music for your baby
If your child does not relax with the sound of a fan or the sound of ocean waves coming from a special device, they may still respond positively to soothing music. Look for CDs or music applications that play slow, relaxing melodies or lullabies.
A good choice is classical or instrumental music, but beware of long pieces that have passages of greater intensity and volume that can wake up your child
Step 3. Sprinkle lavender on your child's pillow
Lavender oil has a calming effect and is renowned for curing insomnia. If your child likes that smell, consider sprinkling a lavender spray on their pillow.
You could also put a few drops of lavender oil in the anti-monster spray if you decide to do this trick
Step 4. Make the room dark
In general, it is always better to have the room in the dark when we sleep and it is particularly important to reduce the blue light of electronic devices such as alarm clocks, computers and phones, which can interrupt the natural circadian rhythms.
- Even so, your child may not like pitch dark. In this case, you could turn on a nightlight.
- You can find night lights that go out after a while (usually after 30-60 minutes). Often, these devices project scenarios on the ceiling (a starry sky or cartoon characters). You can place it next to your child's bed so, in the event of a night awakening, he will be able to easily turn it back on himself.
Step 5. Find the ideal temperature
The quality of sleep is closely linked to the temperature of the environment in which we sleep. If we are too hot or too cold, REM sleep (the period during which we dream) can be interrupted.
- There is no one ideal temperature for everyone: some sleep better at lower temperatures, while others prefer a slightly warmer environment.
- Try raising and lowering the temperature based on how your child feels and make sure his or her pajamas are comfortable too.
Step 6. Follow the tracks of the dog or cat
Your child may fall asleep more easily if you allow your pet to curl up in or near your child's bed. As long as you feel that the presence of the dog or cat does not interfere with your child's sleep, it shouldn't be a problem.
However, if it seems to you that the animal is keeping your child awake or even waking him while he sleeps, be firm and take him away. Replace it with a stuffed animal and you will have no problem
Step 7. Monitor the noise in the rest of the house
If your child is a light sleeper or can't stand the idea of going to bed earlier than his older siblings, he may be on the lookout for noises from outside his room. Do your best by turning down the volume on televisions, radios, and video game consoles, and if possible, make sure they are not placed just outside your child's bedroom door.
- If you have dogs that tend to bark, try to keep them as far away from your child's room as possible or have them have toys to chew or something to nibble on to distract them at least until your child is sound asleep.
- Having a white noise source in your child's room can also help block out noises from outside his room.
Method 3 of 5: Managing Sleep Interruptions
Step 1. Help your child develop the ability to calm down on their own
At some stages in life, your child may need you more, especially with anxiety and nightmares. Despite this, he will have to learn to calm down and calm down on his own when you are not there with him, such as when he is sleeping outside the home.
- Practice meditation, prayer, or breathing exercises with your child to teach them to relax on their own and hopefully fall asleep on their own.
- While it is a good idea to practice these relaxing techniques regularly (and throughout the day), especially do it before bedtime by reminding him to repeat them in case he wakes up during the night.
Step 2. Wait before answering your child's calls
If your child wakes up during the night (or calls you right after going to bed), avoid rushing to their room right away.
It is possible that if you wait a while, your child will be able to fall back asleep on their own
Step 3. Make room visits short
If your child doesn't go back to sleep, don't think you need to ignore their calls. Go back to his room, put him back down while you remind him that it's time to sleep, give him a quick kiss and hug, then leave the room.
Step 4. Reassure him by telling him that you will come back to check on him
Your child may feel safe if you promise him that you will come back to check on him after a few minutes (maybe 5 or 10). He will have to be alone for a short time and if he is confident that you will come back, he may relax enough to fall asleep.
Make sure you actually go back and check it out. If he sleeps, fine! Make sure you let him know the next day that you came back to give him another goodnight kiss, but that he was already asleep
Step 5. Gently escort your child back to bed if he leaves his room
If your child suddenly appears next to you after you put him to bed, gently and firmly guide him back to bed and repeat the action of putting him back in bed and saying goodnight.
Be steadfast (but loving) and consistent. You may need to repeat these steps several times, but your child will soon learn that he won't be able to buy any more time to stay awake just to sneak out of bed
Step 6. Establish rewards
Your child may respond positively to the idea of receiving a prize, such as stars or stickers, for all the times he can fall asleep on his own or stay in bed when he wakes up or when he goes to sleep without making a fuss. After earning a certain number of stars or stickers (for example three) he will win a prize, such as a new book.
If it's a new goal to be rewarded for, be sure to offer a reward after a reasonably short time. If you keep him working for a full month before rewarding him, he may lose focus and motivation
Step 7. Try to be flexible
It is important to be consistent, but understand that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy or one that everyone should use. You need to know your child and understand when to break the rules:
When are you obviously in trouble? To what extent are your sleep disturbances not a symptom of a bigger problem? When should you give him some extra pampering or even let him sleep in bed with you?
Step 8. See your pediatrician
Make sure you also discuss your child's sleep habits with your pediatrician during regular checkups. It is possible that any new problem depends on a stage of development, hormonal changes or even a disease.
Method 4 of 5: Change Your Child's Nutrition for Better Sleep Quality
Step 1. Have your child have a wholesome snack before bedtime
The little ones sometimes can't sleep because their tummies are rumbling or they wake up too early because they feel the need to have breakfast. You may notice a big difference in your child's sleep habits if you make him a carbohydrate-rich snack half an hour before bed.
Good alternatives are bananas, cereals or a slice of wholemeal bread with jam - these are protein foods that can keep your baby's belly full for a long time
Step 2. Try the foolproof hot milk technique
Many parents firmly believe in the almost magical effects of a cup of warm milk, which can calm their children and make them fall asleep.
- Milk is a good combination of carbohydrates and proteins, able to satiate your baby's stomach and soothe hunger cramps. Also, serving this hot drink in her favorite cup has a reassuring and calming effect, which explains why many babies respond well to this remedy.
- To make the drink more tempting, you could add a teaspoon of honey to the warmed milk or a few drops of vanilla extract.
Step 3. Eliminate caffeine
Perhaps it goes without saying that your child shouldn't have sodas (or coffee!) In the evening. However, if he has trouble falling asleep or not waking up during the night, one of the main reasons may be that he is being stimulated by the caffeine he consumes throughout the day.
- In order to promote healthier sleep habits, carefully examine your child's nutrition and eliminate any sources of caffeine. Pay attention to the labels of all drinks and snacks: sometimes caffeine is present in the most unthinkable foods, such as fruit juice.
- Caffeine can also be found in some candies, ice cream, chocolate drinks, so you may want to limit its use.
Step 4. Monitor your child's sugar intake
Even if your child hasn't consumed caffeine, his energy level may go up due to excessive sugar intake. Be concerned about controlling your child's sugar intake, especially after dinner.
Step 5. Make sure your child has a complete and balanced diet
If you are looking for ideas for your child's evening snack or ways to improve their overall nutrition, know that the food you choose can affect the quality of their sleep.
Make sure your child is on a complete diet and consult the pediatrician before any major changes
Step 6. Include wholesome sleep-promoting foods in your diet
None of the foods listed below will cause your child to magically fall asleep, but they are all healthy alternatives that may promote sleep. Try adding the following foods to your child's plate.
- Cherries: They are an excellent source of melatonin, the chemical element that helps regulate sleep patterns.
- Jasmine rice: it has a high glycemic index (value that indicates how long it takes our body to digest glucose, or sugar, present in food). A high index is positive because it means that glucose is released slowly into the bloodstream, making us less vulnerable to blood sugar drops.
- Fortified Whole Grains: Select grains and grains as sources of complex carbohydrates. Quinoa, oatmeal, and barley are also good alternatives. (complex carbohydrates)
- Bananas and Sweet Potatoes: In addition to being an excellent source of good carbohydrates, both of these foods contain a good level of magnesium and potassium which help relax muscles.
Step 7. Limit drinks before bed
You will notice an improvement in your child's sleep habits if you limit the amount of fluids before going to bed. Therefore, make sure he doesn't drink all evening after dinner.
If your child needs to get up to go to the bathroom right after getting into bed, they'll have to start falling asleep all over again. If he was able to almost fall asleep before waking up, he may now find it even more difficult to fall asleep again
Step 8. Make your child drink small amounts of fluids
Drinking a cup of warm milk is a good habit, but (even if you don't want your child to get dehydrated) you need to keep his bladder from getting too full. If this happens, he will wake up during the night or get up too early the next morning.
Give your child between 60 and 100ml of milk, for example, or small sips of water
Step 9. Have him go to the bathroom before bed
You also need to make sure that one of the last things your child will do before bed is go to the bathroom.
This will help reduce the risks of a full bladder and hopefully allow your child to sleep longer
Method 5 of 5: Adjusting Your Child's Evening Activities for Better Sleep Quality
Step 1. Introduce some physical activity throughout the day
Making sure your child gets enough exercise is important for their overall health, while burning energy throughout the day will help them sleep better. Again, you may find that jumping and running all over the place in the hours leading up to sleep may cause him to get too high to sleep.
Some research has shown that exercising at moderate intensity for at least thirty minutes during the day (preferably in the morning) can have positive effects on a person's sleep duration and quality
Step 2. Avoid the clutter in the house before bed
Similarly, while it's great fun to let your kids wrestle before bed (or play games with them), it's best to avoid encouraging any kind of behavior that over-excites them as bedtime approaches. sleep.
Step 3. Consider having a family yoga session before bedtime
Yoga is not a practice that is only suitable for young and agile people! While it is best to avoid hectic activities during the evening hours, movement should not be ruled out entirely: your child could benefit from the calming effects of yoga practiced regularly. This activity can help him relax his mind and body while relieving tension at the end of a busy day.
Recent studies have shown that yoga practice can lead to improved sleep
Step 4. Get her homework done long before bed
One of the reasons a boy has trouble falling asleep or sleeping long at night is the worry of finishing all his schoolwork. If he hasn't finished them before bed, he may be worried about having to finish them during breakfast or on the bus, and this annoying thought may interfere with his ability to silence his mind and get proper rest.
Help your child establish a clear work schedule and create an organized system that helps them keep track of work and deadlines. If he is clear about the times and places to do his homework in the afternoon or evening, he will almost certainly be able to finish before bed
Step 5. Limit the use of electronic devices in the hours leading up to sleep
Continuing studies show that it is more difficult to fall asleep immediately after looking at a screen.
- Devices such as the game console, computer screen, tablet or smartphone all emit blue light, and exposure to these devices is thought to disrupt natural circadian rhythms (normal sleep cycles). Teenagers seem particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of these devices.
- So make sure your child stays away from it at least an hour before bedtime.
Step 6. Address any possible sources of anxiety
Your child may also have sleep-related difficulties due to anxiety and stress problems. Specifically, if the sleep problem has just arisen, talk to your child to understand what is happening in his life: is he worried, nervous or scared about something? Are you having problems with any teachers or friends?
Once you have identified the underlying problems, make sure you and your child evaluate possible coping strategies, meet their teachers if necessary, and, if the problem is serious, consult your child's pediatrician for advice. a consultation
Step 7. Keep your child's favorite family activities on schedule
Sometimes, younger children may refuse to go to sleep if they feel like they are missing out on fun moments to share with the rest of the family in bed. To reduce this fear of being excluded, consider anticipating activities they enjoy so they can participate.
- If older family members participate in activities that the youngest enjoy while sleeping, they should at least avoid talking about it or making him feel left out.
- If your child convinces you for one night to let him stay up after normal hours, organize activities that bore him so that he can change his mind next time.