40 year old Dad hugging young son and daughter settling them for bedtime

Kids learning to sleep and self-settle at bedtime

This is such an important step in developing self confidence and independence in your young sleeper.

If this isn't addressed early, as parents, we simply become overwhelmed and frustrated, enter bedtime battles and up the argument factor. The whole household becomes distressed.

Sound familiar?

Kids need to learn the skill of self settling / soothing and calming themselves off to sleep and they need to feel comfortable and confident to get to sleep on their own.

Here is some things to consider:

  1. Don't try and skip the pillow talk with your kids at bedtime.
  2. At bedtime sit, lay, snuggle with your kiddo and chat about whatever is on their mind but make sure you set a time limit for them to download (or you will be there all night!!).
  3. Let them know this is your special time together and they can tell you whatever they need to before you leave in 5-10 min.
  4. Set the rules; they need to tell you what they are thinking and not get up because they forgot to let you know 'one thing'.
  5. Really listen to what they are telling you and you will get a feel for their thoughts, concerns etc.
  6. Try not to offer solutions at this point - let them get it all out.
  7. Every so often you will be able to pitch in with some wise words.
  8. Allow your child to snuggle into their security object and they may even use this object to tell them the 'one thing' they forgot to let you know and the object will hold that thought till the morning for them.
  9. This thought, if important enough can be discussed the next day or following night.

Bed time rituals are important for kids to know that they are in a safe environment and will minimise the time they can self-settle. Snuggle time is also a great time to connect with your kids and build on the bonds between you. I can assure you that when your kids get older it’s moments like these that they will remember and rituals easily become traditions passed on through your family generations.

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