Summer is over and school is back but with it often comes those bedtime bust-ups you thought they’d grown out of. Fear not, our bedtime routine will be yours and our little secret to get them tucked up tantrum-free.
Whatever time you want them asleep, start this bedtime routine an hour and a half before – this may seem like a lot, but it’s better to start in advance than realise it’s already 8pm and they’re not even thinking of bed.
Our routine will work towards any bedtime so just adapt it to your own timings. If you want to know when your child should be going to be based on their age then we’d recommend checking out the NHS Choice’s info page and work backwards from when your child needs to wake up.
An hour and a half before bedtime
TV time comes to an end. Bright and moving lights stimulate children’s brains so if you can get them away from the TV and off electrical devices an hour and a half before bed (at least) then it will start to help them wind down. This also presents a great opportunity for you to play a game, read a book, do some colouring or just chat to your little one for half an hour.
An hour before bedtime
Bath time; getting your child into a nice warm bath before bed will help their little bodies to relax even if they are still talking to you at 100mph. Getting out of the bath and into pyjamas also gives a clear message of what is going to happen next without you having to tell them.
40-30 mins before bedtime (depending on how long the bath took)
Back in their bedroom open their window so that it’s not stuffy in their room. Then it’s time for a ‘bedtime drink’. We would recommend a mug of warm milk but if your child isn’t a big fan of milk or they’ve already had enough for the day then juice or water are just as good.
Half an hour before bedtime
Story time; Let them chose a book and take them to their bed. If you can, turn off the main light and just have a bedside lamp on so that they become used to the darker environment while you are reading. After you’ve read the book leave a little time to chat with them about the book or their day and to settle them.
Tell them you love them and give them a kiss and a cuddle. This may seem obvious but this show of affection before sleep will help them know they are loved and safe in their bed.
Our Children’s Gifts section has a great variety of gifts that can help in your bedtime routine, from colouring pencils instead of TV, to a personalised mug for their bedtime drink or even a story book with your child as the main character.
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