Getting your little ones to sleep at night can be a tremendous challenge. Kids are so excited about life! They don’t want to close their eyes at the end of the day and miss out on everything. Talk about some serious FOMO!

For parents, this can feel a little exasperating. You know they need to sleep, so bedtime always turns into a battle. The good news is that there’s a lot that you can do to encourage the small people in your family to go to bed early and get a restful night’s sleep. Here’s what you need to do:

Unsplash – CC0 License

Make bedtime a routine

First thing first: establish bedtime as a routine. Make sure that your kids go to bed at the same time every night so that their bodies get used to the idea. The more consistent you can make their bedtimes, the more tired they will feel when they arrive. 

Don’t put a clock in their room

Putting a clock in kids’ bedrooms might seem like a great way to regiment their lives, but it can backfire. Many young kids actually find clocks distracting and they can prevent them from getting to sleep. Instead, rely on natural light. Put the kids in bedrooms where the sun enters the room in the morning. This should wake them up and get them used to the sunrise. 

Ensure that they have comfortable bedding

Kids will only sleep well if they have comfortable bedding. Therefore, make sure that you invest in this furniture. For young children, get cots and cot beds with plenty of padding. Double-check that they are comfortable at night and make sure that there are no sores on their bodies. 

For bigger kids, make sure that they have plenty of room to move around. Check that the springs that support the mattress are still in good working order. Remember that you’ll need to change the mattress at least once before they become teenagers. 

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya

Make sure that they feel safe

Excitement isn’t the only reason why some children don’t want to go to bed. For many, fear is also a factor. That’s why it’s critical to make sure that they feel safe when you put them to sleep. Ensure that they feel safe and secure in their bedding and that they know that they have someone who can help them, should they get scared at night. If it helps, you could plug in a night light near their bed so that they can see the whole room as they doze off. 

Feed them two hours before bedtime

Lastly, make sure that you feed your child at the right time. You don’t want them going to bed on a full stomach as this will keep them awake. Feed them at least two hours before they are scheduled to go to sleep. If you can, get them to have their dinner as early as possible. Avoid the temptation to leave it until 8 or 9 pm. That’s too late for most kids of school age.