Although it may not feel like it sometimes, we actually spend a lot of time in bed. Up to 40% of our childhood is spent asleep, in fact. With so much time dedicated to slumber, it’s vital your little one has a bedroom that reaps the benefits of every last moment.
From the instant we are born we are all constantly learning and absorbing skills and information at a rapid rate, but the amount we learn before the age of ten is phenomenal. Consequently, it is so important for little ones to have good sleep foundations, so they can develop and grow. Depending on your child’s age, they may need up to 14 hours sleep every night in order to learn from tasks that have been completed throughout the day, digest new experiences and remember memories. Therefore, unless children have a great night’s sleep, their development and processing capacity will be negatively impacted, essentially affecting their ability to learn in school.
But how do you guarantee a great slumber? With TVs, games, books, excitable siblings and so many other distractions, a straightforward bedtime routine can seem near impossible for some. The steps you can take to help children settle and sleep well may seem simple, but the key is consistency. A nighttime routine must be exactly that, a routine you follow day in, day out, and soon sweet dreams will follow.
Our first tip is to design a space they love being in is a must. The majority of a bedtime routine will be spent in the comfort of your child’s bedroom, so it’s vital there’s space to change from clothes to pyjamas, a bed side cabinet to place a glass of water for the night, and of course a comfortable spot for a bedtime story.
Secondly keeping distractions at bay will reduce battles before bedtime. Out of sight and out of mind, we believe it’s the best way forward for toys, books and games. Choose furniture with clever storage such as toy chests and roomy bedside cabinets to keep clutter, and potentially distracting items out of the way during the wind down for bedtime.
Next, think about creating an ideal sleeping environment. A child’s room can often be small and compact, which can lead to warmer temperatures and stuffy air. To help promote sleeping it’s best to keep bedrooms dark, quiet and cool at night, but don’t forget, it’s perfectly acceptable for a dim night light or some soothing white noise to aid sweet dreams too.
Finally, make sure everyone knows that bedtime is approaching. Writing your routine down together is a great way to make sure everyone knows what to expect and when. This is especially helpful when grandparents come to stay, or a babysitter is in charge, to ensure all your hard work is not unravelled when you’re away.
These tips may all sound so simple, and in fact, you may be on the right track to a winning bedtime routine already, but with tweaks and a little persistence you could make a big difference to your family habits, health and happiness.