Studies have shown that a consistent bedtime routine is associated with better sleep in children, including an earlier bedtime, shorter time before falling asleep, fewer night wakings, and longer sleep duration. Having a set bedtime routine also leads to fewer parent-perceived sleep problems in children, as well as fewer daytime behaviour problems.
The number of hours your child should be sleeping depends on their age, for guidelines on the number of hours of sleep per day, see the Stella Sleep Guideline page, a company that has created a sleep app for kids.
The Stella Sleep bedtime routine has been formulated using evidence-based sleep strategies, and the latest sleep research.
A successful bedtime routine ensures that your child’s physical, mental and emotional needs are met. This may sound complicated, time-consuming and arduous, but research has shown that there are a few simple steps that you can take to make bedtime and falling asleep a simple and easy process for your child.
For example, serving a substantial, nutritious dinner a few hours before bedtime, and limiting sugary snacks, can be a helpful way to prepare for bedtime. Limiting screens and electronic games before bed, and allowing for sufficient time to wind down and relax before it is time to fall asleep is also a good strategy.
Below you can find the Stella Sleep suggested bedtime routine. In the Stella Sleep app, you can find the track “Advice for parents”, with further recommendations for making bedtime a dream.
It is important to provide a stable routine for your child during the evenings. Make sure to serve a substantial dinner at least 2 hours before bed. If your child is hungry right before bedtime, offer a non-sugary snack.
Having enough time to sleep is key: therefore, make sure that your child gets to bed on time. Children need varying amounts of sleep depending on how old they are, check out sleep guidelines and make sure to plan your child’s bedtime according to how many hours they should be sleeping.
Make the bedroom a non-screen zone, even during the day. Make sure to switch off all screens/games/cartoons at least 1 hour before bed. If your child wants to play, offer calming activities, such as drawing or laying a puzzle.
Making sure your child’s emotional needs are met can be an important step towards helping them fall asleep. Take some time before your child is due to go to bed, and let them talk about their experiences during the day and help them process any worries or concerns they may have. Offer reassurance and support.
This can include taking a bath or shower, brushing teeth and getting into their pajamas.
Try to either read a book, or try to come up with your own story for the kid. This usually creates a habit, where the kid is rather comforted by your voice than the actual content of the story. Consider using a sleep app that plays a bedtime story created by psychologists, such as Stella Sleep.
Try the app here https://stellasleep.onelink.me/UtRw/bedtime