This post was written by Sam who is mum to 2 boys, 9 and 13. She was telling me about her boys bedtime routine and I knew that many of you would enjoy hearing it and perhaps pick up some tips too.
Like most parents would agree, life has not always been easy raising children and I have dealt with ups, downs and challenges along the way. But for me, the most important part of my child’s day is a good night sleep. Reading through some research journals I realised the importance of his daily sleep and the consistency of it. If he hasn’t had a good night sleep, he is usually tired, grumpy and sluggish the next day. So here I share my tips that have helped us set an Evening routine that has helped him settle each night for a peaceful sleep. Waking up refreshed and ready for a new day! Please note, I am not a professional and encourage anyone wanting help to seek professional advice.
1. A Healthy dinner
In our household, I find when I am not prepared for dinner the flow-on effects the whole family. So I like to meal plan each week. This helps with the grocery shopping, as we only purchase what is needed and ensures we have everything on hand for that meal. You can read more here about how to create a weekly meal plan here and check out my facebook page where I share lots of my family dinners. I like to prepare dinners that are full of flavour and colour with plenty of different types of vegetables.
When they were younger, my youngest was fussy with his vegetables. So I would finely chop vegetables so small and mix it through a spaghetti bowl mince and sauce and they wouldn’t even know that it was full of vegetables. Still, a family favourite and now they know whats in it!
Although at times we’ll make homemade pizzas or something a little fun on a weekend that allows the kids to get creative in the kitchen with us.
We eat dinner fairly early as I find it settles in our stomach better and you can go to bed not feeling heavy and bloated. I also found this to help my son settle in at night.
2. Routine & Routine Charts
Most kids thrive off direction and routine. We recently introduced a Routine Chart in our home after trying a few different ideas. Most of them worked for a few weeks, although Kat’s Routine Charts have been simple, but effective and we were able to personalise them to suit each child.
Setting a routine through the day, such as a morning and afternoon routine chart, has not only helped me understand where my child is up to in the morning, but also gives him the satisfaction of knowing that he can do it himself with this guidance and know that he won’t forget anything.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender Essential oil has calming and relaxing qualities which help ease feelings of tension and stress. Which is why we love using a few drops in a diffuser each night for a restful night’s sleep. You can also add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, bottom of the feet or in the air by combining Lavender with water in a spray bottle. Available in my shop here.
4. Reading a book
Reading a book just before bed has become an evening ritual for us. It’s a time to lay down and have a chat about the day, before we take turns in reading a page each. Reading is also a great way to spark imagination and creativity and helps with development skills.
5. Listen to Meditation music
My dad enjoys meditation and throughout our visits to his place as you walk into the house, you have a sense of relaxation and calm that surrounds you. My youngest son who is 9 years old has picked up on this and asked his Pa about the music he listens to. Now they share a love for this and enjoy chats about what they listened to the night before. Mindfulness and meditation at a young age has helped him become less anxious when going to bed at night. We have taken advantage of the smart phones and downloaded an app that at a simple press of a button we are able to choose the meditation music or sleep story for the night. We use both Calm and SleepHypno
Image found at www.understood.org