As a parent, you will know the insanely difficult job of getting your child to go to bed and the even bigger task of getting them to stay there and sleep. Yes, when children don't get enough sleep, they become even more emotional than they usually are. As a result, you become the sole target of temper tantrums, breakdowns, and large amounts of bickering. Now imagine that you have three children that are all refusing to go to bed, let alone sleep, and are making your life exceptionally difficult and tiring. Terrifying right? So, let's take a look at 10 tips to get all three kids to bed.
10 Control The Temperature
If your kids are refusing to go to bed the problem could be much deeper than you originally thought. For instance, make sure that your children's bedrooms are set at the right temperature. Yes, the temperature of a room can have a big difference in your kids and might be affecting their temperament and behavior.
All too often parents set the temperature at climates that they prefer and forget to include their kids on such decisions. Why not try asking them if they are too hot or cold at night? And what temperature they would prefer. Also, keep in mind that children often kick off their covers in the middle of the night.
9 Check The Bedroom Environment
Although your children's bedroom should be a warm and calming environment it should also be the place where they sleep and not play. For instance, try to make sure that there are no distractions near the bed, things such as toys, ipads and anything else that could potentially prevent them from sleeping. Another thing to consider is light. The bedroom should be pitch black, although little nightlights are okay, with studies suggesting that excessive light can seriously affect a child's sleeping patterns. Furthermore, try to keep the noise minimum to a low. Yes, a quiet house encourages young kids to sleep, rather than investigate the noise.
8 Give Them Some Security
Bedtime can often mean separation, which can cause young children a sense of anxiety. For instance, if you have older kids, your younger kids might have the fear of missing out, especially if their older sibling is allowed to stay up later. Plus, your kids will also miss you, hence why they often end up in your bed in the middle of the night. To try to stop this, why not give them a personal object such as a teddy bear, an old scarf, or something that they can relate to you. This can provide them with a sense of security that will end up comforting them before they fall asleep.
7 Limit Screen Time
Any parents will tell you that the wonderful world of the internet has made bedtime a lot easier, not to mention quieter. However, although it is occasionally a godsend, it can also have damaging effects on your children's wellbeing and sleep patterns.
For instance, many children tend to stay up later if they are able to access their phones or iPads while in bed. This then results in a lack of sleep which doesn't help with regards to school and getting up the next day. Instead, why not enforce a rule where all screens must be turned off two hours before bed. This allows your children to still have fun but as long as it is under a routine.
6 Make Bedtime A Family Occasion
Sometimes it can be difficult to get one kid to bed when the other kids are allowed to stay up later. This sort of situation usually ends up in big arguments and temper tantrums and prolongs the bedtime routine to the extreme.
Instead, why not set up a family routine so that everybody goes to bed at the same time, or at least go to their rooms at the same time. As a result, this will curb jealousy, especially if one child believes that their brother or sister is getting more quality time with mom. In order to make this work, try to make sure that everybody gets up at the same time too.
5 Sneak Them A Small Snack
Kids, no matter the age, love to snack and can eat humungous amounts in short settings. However, kids also love to run around, which then burns the energy that they have inhaled. Therefore, children are often always peckish and can end up at their hungriest just before bed. An empty stomach then makes for restless nights and can disrupt their nighttime patterns resulting in broken sleep.
To conquer this, why not provide them with a small bedtime snack that can help them stay fueled throughout the night. In addition, because there are three of them, try to keep the snacks to a minimum such as grapes or crackers, for costs reasons of course.
4 Tire Them Out
If your children are all of a similar age then it is likely that they will enjoy playing with each other. Try to encourage this throughout the day, and tire them out as much as possible. As a result, they will be extremely tired by the end of the day and ready to fall asleep in minutes. However, exercise can also have its negatives, with it also important not to encourage excitable behavior minutes before bed.
Yes, kids tend to get hyperactive when they know it is bedtime and can end up jumping on beds and chasing after each other all while getting their adrenaline pumping. Nip this in the bud as soon as possible, and steer them towards books or quiet time before bed.
3 Reduce Fears
Everybody knows that kids have incredible imaginations. However, this can also hinder them as much as it might help them. For instance, kids tend to imagine the worst, especially when they are alone or without their parents. Therefore, bedtime is the perfect scenario for such thoughts, with the dark, the separation, and the loneliness all a factor in their terrifyingly creative imaginations. The best thing to do is to legitimize their fears. Yes, the next time your kids tell you they can't sleep due to monsters under the bed, hand them some "monster spray" instead. This will let them know that you have listened to them and trust them to take care of things.
2 Always Stick To The Routine
Most parents will know that routine is key for just about anything involved in their children's lives. Therefore, the same goes for bedtime. Thankfully, kids strive on routine and seemingly respond well to it.
Therefore, why not put each child on a strict routine that they will come to expect and follow. For instance, make sure all your children brush their teeth together (depending on age differences of course) and then put on their pajamas. If they want to read a book, make sure you are clear that they are to take it in turns when it comes to choosing the book and what they want to read. It is also important to remember that routines should be kept short and should be strictly adhered to.
1 Look Out For Sleeping Disorders
If your kids are struggling to get to sleep or making it hard for you to get them into bed, it is mostly down to them being difficult or badly behaved. However, sometimes the problem can be a little deeper and might involve your children having some sleep issues that might be affecting their sleeping patterns.
For instance, snoring can have a huge effect on a child's sleep which can then leave them tired and groggy the next day. In addition, things such as sleep apnea, trouble falling asleep and staying asleep should also be monitored, especially if it is frequent. However, don't worry, these things are very rare.