A good night’s sleep is essential for your child’s physical and emotional well-being. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine not only helps your little one drift off peacefully, but it also contributes to their overall development.
That’s why establishing healthy night-time habits is such a valuable investment. Consistency, a relaxing environment, and a thoughtful sequence of activities can help set the stage for restful nights and happy mornings.
To help parents develop their own routine in 2024, renowned child sleep expert Andrea Grace has partnered with Wacky Warehouse to share her top nine tips for securing sound slumber. Sweet dreams await!
Have a few minutes of calm and precious ‘golden time’ time, spent cuddling, reading or chatting together before starting a bedtime routine.
ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE
A reassuringly familiar and consistent bedtime routine is especially important in the new year, when new sights and sounds can be overwhelming for little ones.
Include a warm bath or shower in the preparation for bedtime as this helps with the production of melatonin – a sleep hormone.
Make a point of turning all screens off at least half an hour before bed, as screen exposure is not good for sleep.
Avoid sweets and fizzy drinks as the sugar in their system can not only cause problems for children getting off to sleep but can also keep them in lighter sleep during the night.
Give them the opportunity to get some exercise, as this will help them fall asleep more quickly and easily. According to latest research, just 5% of parents say their child sleeps worse the night after a day out at a soft play centre such as Wacky Warehouse.
EMBRACE THE DARKNESS
Keep your child’s bedroom as dark as possible, but if they need a night light, choose a dim one with a red glow which will not affect their melatonin production.
Give them a milky drink at bedtime to help them settle. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid which helps sleep. Other tryptophan-rich foods are cheese, tuna, turkey and bananas!
If you are going to be away from home, take a familiar sleep-related object from your home, such as a special blanket or toy, so that they feel a sense of security and familiarity.
About Andrea Grace:
Andrea is a highly experienced and world-renowned baby and child sleep consultant. She has been helping families since 1998, with expert advice and emotionally safe sleep solutions