After all the excitement of a busy day, sometimes the last thing children want to do is to go to the land of nod. Getting a good night sleep is important for a child’s mental and physical development, they need to catch plenty of ‘Z’s if they’re to be bright eyed and bushy tailed the next day.
While newborns can have irregular sleep patterns, they will start to develop a rhythm at about six weeks old. By three to six months old, most youngsters will be set into a regular sleep cycle.
To make bedtime easier, we’ve put together a few ideas to help settle them into this cycle and drift off at bedtime.
Including a dip in the tub as part of your routine can help children mentally prepare for bedtime, as they know that after bath time they will have a story and then it’s time to sleep. A nice warm bath will also help little ones relax. If your child is reluctant to splash about in the water try making bath time fun with some bath toys. The Duck Family, three little ducklings inside a mother duck, will keep them entertained, or you can read them the waterproof Ocean Bath Book while in the tub.
Read a good book together
Avoid activities that are too active right before bedtime as, like adults, children need at least half an hour to ‘wind down’ before bed. Instead, ask your child to pick out their favourite book which you can read together once they’ve settled under the duvet. If your little one is too young to read along with you, soft books with bright pictures and friendly characters, such as the First Puppet Book, are ideal for encouraging baby to focus at varying distances as they follow the movements of your fingers.
The scent of herbs such as chamomile and lavender are proven to help children drift off to sleep. Make your own soothing lavender bag using some cotton material, freshly picked lavender and a ribbon. Simply tie the lavender in the bag and either hang securely above the cot or place under your child’s pillow. Alternatively, rub a tiny drop of lavender oil on their favourite teddy or snuggle pal.
Teddies and soft toys can bring children lots of comfort as they’re drifting off to sleep. Our range of friendly animal Snuggle Pals are made exactly for this purpose, the soft and tactile velour comforters are designed to engage a young baby and help them sleep. The croc, bird, cow and dog design each has ribbon tags, a plastic teether and is made from a range of materials to develop baby’s senses.