Establish a nurturing bedtime routine
Today I want you to start establishing a nurturing bedtime routine.
Think about how bedtime is going at your house.
Is there a routine that you follow?
Does the hour leading up to bedtime get the children wound up or wound down?
Is it a time of connection or frustration?
People need sleep to be at their best - and for little children who are growing and learning so much every day, sleep is very important. But as you know, many preschoolers are unwilling participants! A nurturing bedtime routine can turn this time of day into a positive experience for everyone.
A nurturing bedtime routine for preschoolers includes:
-- Getting ready for bed but also... -- Enough time to slowly unwind from the day -- Lots of full attention and connection -- Lots of cues for the body and brain that it’s time to slow down and relax -- A gentle story to take into sleep -- A very consistent routine for all the steps
It really does make a very big difference to have a consistent routine, down to even the lullaby you sing, and to give yourselves enough time to really connect at bedtime.
For many families, bedtime can be the first step to creating rhythm in the home. A cozy bedtime ritual can become your anchor point that you use to steady the ship and from there you can bring more and more rhythm to your family life.
How to establish a nurturing bedtime routine:
1. Visualize a cozy, comforting, and connected bedtime ritual for your little one.
What needs to happen before bed (brush teeth, etc.)? What helps your child relax and feel safe? What can you do to increase connection and warmth? What consistent cues for bedtime will you have (songs, verses, lighting a candle, prayers, etc.)? Will you tell a story or read one?
2. List out all the steps with all the details in the order that they will happen. If sticking to a routine is new for you, I do recommend actually writing this down!
3. Now do your best to consistently and patiently move through the routine until it is a given for your family.