6 Tips for a Better Family Bedtime Routine
World Sleep Day is March 17th and who couldn't use more sleep? Hindi Zeidman, founder of the Ollie Swaddle knows the importance of good sleep for the entire family. She even invented a better swaddle to help the littlest family members sleep better. While no bedtime routine is the same as another, it’s fair to say that there are some common elements that might help your family wind down before it’s time to go to sleep. Zeidman shares her six tips, which apply equally to the entire family, here.
The rest of these bedtime routine pieces are doable in any order, but unplugging should always be the first step and done early on. It’s so easy to have the TV on in the background, your phone in your hand, and your little ones playing on handheld game systems when it's the end of the day. When it's bedtime, resist the temptation to use a screen to unwind. Bright screen displays can put stress on your eyes and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Turn off all your devices and give yourself at least an hour to wind down … an hour to do all the other fun things listed below!
Everyone loves snuggle time! This is especially important for bonding with your little ones. Days get so busy between work and school, dinner prep and homework. Physical touch is often left by the wayside. When our babies are newborns we hold and cuddle them constantly. But, as our children grow up, those moments dwindle down. Take a cuddle break to talk about your day and de-stress no matter how old your child is. If you still have a little one, be sure to set aside some snuggle time without screens.
Don't rush your bedtime routine! It should be as slow, easy, and peaceful as possible. Reading aloud to your little one is a great way to create distance in your mind from the stresses and duties of the day. It will also create a fondness for books that your little one will carry with him for life. And you may even discover some new great books.
Get ready for bed
This sounds pretty generic but it encompasses so many before bedtime routine activities. A bath or shower, lotion, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, brushing hair, and more. Anything that promotes relaxation makes our bedtime routine list.
Do you have a little one who is particularly wound up at bedtime? Try introducing a session of stretching or toddler yoga before climbing into bed. It may take a week or two to get the silliness and giggles out during stretching but, eventually, your little one will catch on. Stretching is a great way to release tension and prepare your body for bed. It will also create a routine that your little one will start to associate with sleep.
Whether you say prayers or talk about positive things that happened during your day, ending on a positive note can do wonders for bedtime. This will also teach your little one to look for the positives in life instead of the negatives. And in the long run, that will give him a brighter outlook on life.
What is part of your family's bedtime routine?