Tips on how to help children unwind before bed

For adults, sleep is a precious commodity and many of us desperately yearn for eight hours of undisturbed slumber. For young kids, sleep is seen as the enemy and something that takes them away from all the fun. As such, getting your kids to hit the hay each night can be a battle and one of the most trying tasks a parent will face. Luckily, the Cenovis mums have some tricks up their sleeve to help little ones unwind and nip bedtime battles in the bud.

  1. Avoid sugar and caffeinated products at all costs – Sugar-laden treats and caffeine-containing products like ice-tea, chocolate and cola can stimulate little minds and contribute to sleeping problems. It might be best to steer clear of Grandma and Grandpa’s one-stop sweet shop at least 4 hours before bedtime!
  2. Make sure your child is physically active during the day, but not before bed – Late afternoon exercise can be a little too energising for kids and may cause problems at bedtime as they might not be tired enough to sleep.
  3. Turn off the TV and computers at least an hour before bedtime – Electronic devices like TV’s, smart phones and computers can disturb sleep by keeping little minds active and alert well past their bedtime. It is especially important to keep these out of your child’s bedroom to avoid late-night temptation.
  4. Create a consistent bedtime routine It takes time for kids to unwind after an action-packed day so it’s a good idea to establish a regular soothing routine before bed. This could include a warm bath followed by picking out pyjamas, a song or bedtime story, a relaxing foot massage or back rub, mummy snuggles and lights out. Whatever works and is predictable but enjoyable for you and your little one.
  5. Consider a calming sleep remed– A simple glass of warm milk, a cup of chamomile tea or a specialised kids’ calming product might help your little one unwind at night time.
  6. Teach your child to relax with breathing or visualisation techniques – If your child can’t sleep, do some breathing techniques together or get them to visualise their favourite place. You could download an app or watch a clip on Youtube to get some ideas. One of the Cenovis mums’ favourite techniques is to get their kids to squeeze their muscles while they’re lying in bed and then relax them, working from their toes to their face.
  7. Establish a sleep-friendly environment – Make sure your child has a comfortable bed with soft, cosy bedding, decorate the room in muted colours (not fluoro pink!), check that it’s well-ventilated and dark with a dim night light if necessary.
  8. Keep your voices and TV down once the kids are in bed – If your little one can hear your voices or the TV they might think they are missing out on all the fun. In their imaginative minds you are watching Peppa pig, playing with their favourite toys and eating endless bowls of ice-cream, which isn’t exactly conducive to sleep!