We have been round and round the block when it comes to bedtimes. We have been remarkably lucky with Maxi, he has always been a dream when it comes to bedtime and goes to bed and to sleep with little or no fuss. However, to make up for this Mini has been a challenge, well from turning two years old!
I am please to say that at seven he is now really good at going to bed and much better at getting to sleep, so I thought I would share some of the things we have done to make this as easy as possible.
A bedtime routine is key for us.
- No computer or electronic screens after 6pm. This is non-negotiable. We do allow some TV, but mostly it is quiet time for reading, board games, jigsaws and chatting.
- No electronics in bedrooms. No TV’s, no games, no tablets.
- A regular bedtime.
- We end the night with three positive things from the day. Things that have made us happy or smile.
- A good nightlight. Philips sent the boys a softpal nightlight each. Mini has a Mike one and it gives off a soft glow that doesn’t interfere with his sleep. I found it important not to dismiss his fear of the dark and a night light makes all the difference to him being comfortable in his room.
- Both boys have a Lumie Bodyclock Go and this is great for helping Mini getting off to sleep as it dims over a 30 minute time, so he can often be found asleep with a book in hand!
- Not too much to drink after 6pm.
- Audio books. Both the boys have a great love of audio books and often go to sleep listening to them. Mini is currently listening to David Walliams and Maxi is using the Leapfrog Leap Reader to read audio books.
- Relaxation CD’s. When Mini is finding it really hard to go to sleep or wind down we turn to our Relax Kids CD’s which really do help.
Both the boys have had periods when they have been anxious or upset and this often shows itself at bedtime. We have used many different ways to handle this including:
- Making a dreamcatcher.
- Talking about what is concerning them and making sure that we do not dismiss their concerns.
- Worry dolls – you tell them your worried and leave them under your pillow and they take them away.
- Relaxation CD’s.
- Worry Spray – A mix of lavender and water in a spray bottle to spray away the scaries! (lavender is very relaxing, which can help in itself)
- A special stone for rubbing if you are worried.