Ah, bedtime: The universal parenting struggle. If you’re a parent, you’ve likely searched high and low for sleep strategies for kids that really work. Sleep challenges can pop up at any age, so whether you have a new baby or you’re dealing with a bedtime-resistant older child, you’ve come to the right place.

Crème de la Crème’s experienced staff knows all about helping your child thrive in the classroom and beyond. Our excellent programs include art, music, theater, and more. Find the location nearest to you today so you can schedule a tour. We’re dedicated to educating the whole child, and we know that starts with getting a good night’s sleep at home.

Tried-and-True Strategies for Getting Your Child To Sleep

A child stretching out next to a bunk bed.

Bedtime often becomes the most stressful part of the day, whether you have an infant, a toddler, or an older child. From staying up with a fussy baby who won’t fall asleep to dealing with those “just ONE more minute” pleas from the kiddos, getting your child to actually go to sleep can feel like a parent’s biggest challenge. Here at Crème de la Crème, we’re ready to assist with many of the common issues parents have — including providing helpful strategies for getting your child to sleep.

A big key is sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene, which comprises the behaviors and habits that promote good sleep, is essential for children. When kids struggle with sleep, the problems are often caused or worsened by poor sleep hygiene. Sleep strategies take time and repetition to really work, but staying consistent is essential. So, here are some sleep strategies for kids that can help make bedtime better for everyone involved.

Designate a Consistent Bedtime

Sleep schedules work best when they match your child’s natural biological clock. A consistent bedtime helps your kid doze off at regular times because it provides those cues to a child’s body. This means sticking to the same bedtime on school nights and weekends, as changing the bedtime on weekends can make it harder for children to maintain their typical weekday schedules.

Create (and Then Stick to) a Routine

We’ll say it again: Consistency is essential. Human beings love habit, and a regular bedtime routine can let your child’s mind and body know the time has come to settle down and get ready to sleep. Having a bedtime routine gives your kid a sense of comfort and familiarity, which helps to stave off the uncertainty that comes with insomnia.

You can develop a specific routine that suits your child, but go for one that lasts for about 20 minutes and includes three or four quiet, soothing activities. Ideas to try include:

  • Brushing teeth.
  • Putting on pajamas.
  • Reading together.
  • Taking a warm bath.

Have a Screen Curfew

We know screens are everywhere, so implementing a screen curfew feels tough. But it’s worth it. Mobile devices, tablets, and even TVs emit a type of blue light that can suppress melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Childrencan be especially vulnerable to the impact of that light coming from screens. At the same time, watching content on a device stimulates the brain. This also makes winding down for sleep a challenge.

So what can you do? Try keeping electronic devices out of all bedrooms and implementing a screen curfew so these items are put away and not used within an hour of the set bedtime. If the adults in your home stick to this rule, too, you’ll set a good example for the kiddos who might want to watch just one more thing online before bedtime. You may even see the benefits to your sleep.

Prioritize Physical Activity

Exercise during the day can go a long way at bedtime. Physical activity helps folks of all ages fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Most kids need at least an hour of physical activity each day. However, you’ll want to avoid vigorous activity within an hour or two of bedtime. Lots of physical activity right before bed can leave your child feeling wound up, making it harder for them to fall asleep.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine can find its way into your kiddo’s diet in ways you might not expect. As a stimulant, caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep. It also reduces the quality of sleep a child gets once they fall asleep. You may know to steer clear of letting your kid drink soda, energy drinks, and coffee, but those aren’t the only sources of caffeine to watch out for. Children can also get caffeine from tea, chocolate, and decaf coffee (it still contains trace amounts).

It may seem like a little bit can’t make much of a difference, but even small amounts of caffeine can really affect your little one’s smaller body. Ensure your child stops consuming food and drinks with caffeine at least six hours before bedtime.

Stay Away From Scary Stuff Before Bed

One common reason children can’t sleep is feeling worried or scared. While those feelings can come about in many ways, taking in scary or violent content from TV, movies, video games, and books late in the day can lead to sleep disturbances for kids. If you have a child who is into spooky stuff, that’s fine. Just save that content for during the day.

Are You Ready To Watch Your Child Thrive?

These sleep strategies for kids can lay the foundation for a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is the start of a happy, well-rested child who is ready to learn and grow. Crème de la Crème is known for our excellence at providing children with a full scope of education and developmental programs, beginning with preschool. We hope you find these strategies for getting your child to sleep helpful. You can turn to Crème de la Crème for answers to common parenting questions, so contact us today to schedule a tour.

girl in white and red long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans standing near bed  by bruce mars is licensed with Unsplash License