Bedtimes…uggg! Pullleeeze….just one more story, just one more drink of water, just one more hug…and on and on. “Get back into bed!” is a mantra that every parent laments.
Having a bedtime routine helps young children settle in and settle down to an expectation of bedtime. Consistency is key. At my house growing up, it was the chant of “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” that signaled when it was time to turn off the lights, snuggle into bed and settle in for the night. Calming routines of bathtime and stories help to disengage children from the electronic screens and prepare them for sleepytime.
Electronic screens have a blue light (much like daylight) that inhibits melatonin – the sleep hormone that tells the body and brain that it’s time to rest. Children should have a cool down time of at least an hour before bedtime in order for the melatonin to be activated.
Have your child plan what their bedtime routine should be…”Do you want a story or your bath right before bedtime? Would you like to pick your pajamas to put out on your bed or shall I? How much reading time before lights out? Having your child contribute their ideas helps them to accept the routines and own them, making bedtime rituals more enjoyable.