Bedtime can either be the best or worst of times. It can be the worst of times when kids drag their feet, don’t want to go to bed, and fight you on it every step of the way. However, it can be the best of times when you use it as an opportunity to spend precious, focused time with your children.
Get Them to Drop the Screens
The National Sleep Foundation advises that all screens be shut down 30 minutes before bedtime. This is because sleep studies suggest that using your personal device right up until bedtime can affect the quality of your sleep. Unfortunately, the blue light in the devices we all love so much can restrict our bodies from producing melatonin, an important hormone that regulates circadian rhythm. Electronic devices can also increase alertness, making it hard to wind down before bed. The first step of your nighttime routine should be to collect everyone’s personal electronic devices and hold onto them until morning. Your kids might put up a big, giant fuss at first, but it is one of the very best things you can do for your kids.
Help Them Brush Their Teeth
Oral hygiene is an important part of your kids’ overall health. Start a brushing habit as soon as your baby pushes out those first teeth. You will need to brush their teeth for them until they develop the dexterity to do so on their own. However, by the time your child starts school, they should be able to brush on their own—with your supervision. Just remember, no matter how well you train your kids to brush, they will miss some spots. A dentist appointment will help remove plaque from your child’s teeth and avoid cavities.
Our lives are busy, and it is easy to go an entire day without focused, one-on-one time with your children. That is why cuddle time should become part of your daily bedtime routine. If you can, spend a few minutes with each child as you tuck them in. Snuggle up in bed next to them and give them your full attention. You could read a book together, sing a lullaby, or even just talk. Your child will fall asleep each night with the calming reassurance that they are loved.
When you create a fun and calming routine, bedtime really can be a time you all look forward to. What kids really want is time with you. Let them experience your full attention and love for the last few minutes of their day.
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