Sleep issues are one of the most common challenges that we hear from parents and families. In addition, children very often exhibit difficulties with sleep during times of change or stress. Any changes in your typical daily schedule may result in sleep challenges for your children at night. As parents, we know this is tough! Here are a few tips from our Occupational Therapy team to help your child sleep better at night.
1. Establish consistent sleep routines
Now more than ever is an important time to establish and maintain a consistent sleep routine. Try to pick a bedtime and stick to it! We know when schools are closed or our typical daily schedules have changed it can be difficult to be consistent with bedtimes.
Keeping bedtimes consistent may help your kids sleep more soundly at night and can allow them to get enough sleep to help them have brighter and happier moods the next day.
2. Create a calming environment
Try incorporating a relaxing environment into your bedtime routine. Calming breathing exercises can help relax the body and prepare the mind for sleep. You may also want to try using calming scents in the bedroom like lavender or gentle calming scented hand lotion.
You can also try playing calming sounds in the background like white noise or ocean waves. By modifying your child’s environment in this way you can set the tone in the space that promotes rest.
3. Make bedtime routines fun!
Some children resist bedtime, so establishing a routine can be hard. Think about ways to incorporate games into the routine to distract from the difficulties at bedtime. Try having you and your child choose each other’s pajamas, and put them on at the same time. Then have a toothbrushing party when everyone in your family brushes their teeth at the same time. Add music and some dancing to make it extra fun!
When it’s time to get into bed, see how many stuffed animals your child can fit in their bed before getting in to snuggle. This can make bedtime extra cuddly and set your child up for a successful night of sleep.
We hope these tips and tricks help your child with sleep challenges. We know that sleep issues can be very difficult for families and we’re here to help!
If you’d like more sleep training advice, click here to watch a free recorded MeBe Learning webinar on sleep strategies for children.
To learn more about Applied Behavior Analysis, Speech and Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, or Feeding Therapy services at MeBe, contact us today.
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