Sleep Saturdays: Five Tricks to get your Kids to Sleep on the Weekends
It’s the weekend, woo-hoo! Along with the fun adventures during the daytime, you now have to fight your little ones to go to sleep. Does the weekend feel like a constant struggle for sleep? This is also your time for self-care and self-love. The five tips and tricks can help your child sleep regularly on the weekends and give you a little more “me time.”
1. Routines are key- Children thrive in structured environments, so what does that look like at night? Start a bedtime routine with your children. It’s important to get their input if it is developmentally appropriate and let them know that you understand their wants/needs. Create a fun visual with steps for preparing for bedtime.
2. Turn off electronics- I recommend turning off electronics approximately 1-2 hours before bedtime. This will give your child’s brain the time it needs to slow down after being over-stimulated all day long. Grab a book and read to or with your child; extra bonding time is always a plus!
3. Warm baths- There is nothing better than relaxing in a warm bubble bath after a long day of work; your kids agree! I’ve found through my practice that many children value a warm bath for relaxation. If it helps you sleep, it will most likely help your kids.
4. Essential oils- Use calming essential oils in an oil diffuser. Put the diffuser in your child’s bedroom. I have several in my home and got most of them from TJ MAXX for under $20. Lavender is a great one and Chill Pill is one of my favorite blends. You can also add a drop or two to your child’s bath water if you don’t have a diffuser. Please ask your pediatrician before putting oil into the water to ensure it won’t irritate your child’s skin.
5. Exercise- About two hours before you plan to go to bed, exercise with your child. Youtube has some great yoga videos that you can follow along with specifically for bedtime! If you are too exhausted to workout with your child, you can always have them exercise on their own by creating a fun activity out of it! I like to use a box and write different exercises on each side; they roll the box and do the activity. For example, my box might have “do ten jumping jacks,” “run in place for 30 seconds,” or “hop on one foot.” It’s easier to get them to exercise if they have a little control over what they are doing (you can make the box together).