Every mom knows that when a little one has not had a good night’s rest, everyone in the house feels it. When your son or daughter wakes up in the early hours of the morning, unable to sleep, it not only disrupts them the following day, but means you will arrive at work half asleep the next day—or have to do household duties having started the day with the wrong foot forward. Then there is the simple truth that a well-rested child is a happy child.
What happens then if your child is having nightmares, or can’t fall asleep, or wakes up at the midnight hours, night after night? Thankfully, there are things a mom can do to ensure a better night’s rest. Here are just 10 of them.
10 A Teddy Friend
There’s something about having a snuggly teddy friend slumbering alongside one which helps a person to sleep better. Kids especially will enjoy the comfort of a furry friend during the night hours… especially when it’s lights out time and they might feel just a little afraid of the dark.
The best kind of teddy to do this job is a familiar, well-loved teddy who is friends with the child during the day, and can be a source of comfort during the evening. Be sure to say good night to your child – and to ‘teddy’ – as you switch off the light.
9 Prayer Before Bedtime
Kneeling before the bed and putting ones cares and worries aside through prayer is a good way to begin bed time on a positive note. It does not necessarily have to be religious in nature; it could just be a quiet reflection.
Praying before bed time can give a child peace that everything is in good hands, and free their minds from anxiety. It is also a good way to build hope and expectancy for the next day and to get the child to assess the day that has just been, before climbing into bed and closing off the day.
8 A Cup Of Cocoa Or Warm Milk
This is one of those ‘grandmother’ wisdom strategies for helping a child sleep better. Still, it works!
The milk will relax the child and stimulate feelings of well-being in their body. In winter time especially, having something warm to drink before bed time will raise the body temperature and ensure the child falls asleep falling warm and safe, and comforted. In addition, the milk is also good for the growing child, providing lots of calcium for strong bones and teeth!
7 A Hot Water Bottle
If it is cold outside, then it’s a good idea to equip your child with a hot water bottle in their bed before it’s officially ‘light’s out’. Stores have a selection of colorful, child-friendly hot water bottles. Some come with favorite characters on them.
Others are shaped like characters… lions or bears or tigers. There are furry ones and ones with bling detail. Allow your child to pick out the one they fancy. Going to bed will be just that much more fun for them if they have had a say in the matter – even if only over the hot water bottle.
6 Mosquito Repellent
When it is hot outside and mosquitoes come out, your child will thank you for slathering on some mosquito repellent, using a repellent stick, before bed time. Mosquito season will mean your child’s sleep will continue to be interrupted if no action is taken. When it is bed-time, make sure your child puts enough repellent on their arms and legs and face, foot and neck area before going to sleep.
5 A Bedtime Story
No small child should go to sleep without having a special bed-time story read to them. The story creates intimacy between mother and child, and creates a sense of routine and structure in the child’s day – helping them to feel safe and enhancing their likelihood of sleeping soundly. What’s more, hearing a good story about the exciting adventures of bright, colorful characters which conquer the world will stimulate good dreams and a feeling of well-being and happiness. It goes to say, a happy child is a child who sleeps well.
4 Pillow Time
A pillow is like a cup of tea. Not all pillows suit all people and everyone likes their pillow to be a specific way. If it is too hard or too soft, the child won’t sleep right and will toss and turn the whole night. If night after night your child isn’t sleeping, why not check whether there is a problem with their pillow? A minor adjustment like changing their pillow can make all the difference in promoting good sleep. Special pillows can also be purchased for children who battle to breathe properly while they sleep which help to position the head correctly to facilitate healthy breathing and posture.
3 Check Their Bedding
A child’s bedding should always be appropriate for the weather. In summer time, strip the bed of all heavy coverings and use just a sheet with a thin blanket. Winter time means lots of pillows and blankets, and a hot water bottle. If the child is either too hot or too cold, in all likelihood, they won’t sleep very well. It seems like simple advice, yet parents often fall short with this one – sometimes believing because they are a little cold, the child is feeling the same way, or because they are warm, the child won’t need so many blankets. Let your child determine whether they are hot or cold.
2 Nose Spray
If your child gets blocked sinuses or snores, they might battle to sleep because of a blocked nose and nasal passageways. It is good to have a nasal passageway clearant of some description on hand to ensure they go to sleep breathing well through their noses. Chemists can direct moms towards options suitable for their child’s needs. Medication is also available for children with severe sinus problems.
1 A Night Light
Children have big imaginations and these imaginations often run wild during the night hours when they can’t see everything clearly. What’s more, sounds are usually amplified during the evening and early morning hours. A good, non-obtrusive night light which allows the child to see their immediate environment but still keeps the lights low is advised for keeping kids calm and collected, and sleeping soundly throughout the night.