So many grandparents who are raising their grandchildren end up looking at how to get your kids to sleep. Many of you can relate to how tough it can be. Its often easy to get them there but not so easy to keep them there. The fact of the matter reading this could be one of the most important things you can do for them because it’s so important for our grand kids to get good sleep.
I do have to say when it comes to sleep we have been pretty lucky. Our little guy has always been a great sleeper. However I know that isn’t so for many grandparents so I decided to do a little research and write an article to hopefully help anyone who may need it.
We all know our grands have gone through so much in their short lives and that is emotional enough. The fact of the matter is when kids don’t get enough sleep it can send their emotions into over drive. This can lead to being cranky or even worse over hyper. We all know that at bed time that is nothing we look forward to.
Not enough sleep can also be a factor in not so great behavior situations. Paying attention becomes an issue and learning gets affected. So I just mentioned quite a few factors so you can see why we have to do what ever it takes to help the kids get the sleep they need.
Its important to keep things on a regular routine in order to get our grands having the sleeps they need. If we put up good habits and our kids get good sleeps this can help make all stresses go away when it comes to bed time.
Of course so many people have their own routines and there are no real rules. The important thing is that when you find something that works you stick to it. Hopefully below I can give you a few ways to get you started with some good sleep nights.
Sleep Times For The Entire Family
Its important for the entire family to get sleep and if everyone gets involved then the little ones will learn to understand. This is not only for weekdays but also for the weekends.
If you notice your grands are falling asleep within 15 minutes then you know things are going well and you know they are getting good sleeps.
Another thing to watch for is how easily they wake up in the morning and what kind of mood they are in. Also, except for kids who nap it’s great if they don’t nod off during the day.
Don’t Ignore Troubles With Sleep
When you notice your grands having problems with their sleep it is something you should get checked.
Problems could involve things like not being able to fall asleep, waking up several times during the night, fighting when it is time to go to bed and even trouble breathing could be a sleep problem.
Another thing to watch for is negative behaviors during the day. You need to watch and see if they are cranky or more tired than they should be. These are all things that you want to make the Dr aware of.
Team Work Is Important
You and your spouse need to have a plan in place beforehand. Its something you need to talk about and something you both need to decide on. Once you guys agree on something you need to stay hard and fast to it
It’s important to discuss and agree on a sleep strategy for
your child with your spouse or partner beforehand and work together as a
team to carry it out consistently. Otherwise, you can’t expect your
child to learn or change her behavior.
If you are starting a new routine you should keep the child in the loop and as part of the team. You do this by explaining what you are thinking about as long as they are old enough.
If you are dealing with younger children than maybe you can try using pictures to help them learn your theories. The biggest thing is don’t expect things to happen overnight so be patient, consistent and things will happen.
Routine Is Very Important
Kids absolutely love routine and they love structure and the best part is it works so well. It is a proven fact that normal routines at bedtime does make for improved sleep in the kids with any kind of sleep problems.
A routine actually trains their little brains to want to get some sleep. It sure also helps when you read them stories at night. Just think about when you read a book at night and how sleepy it makes you. Well it works the same way for the kids.
Routine also makes bedtime an important time with things like hugs, dream routines and anything else associated with bed time. Its great when the child starts thinking as bed time as one of the special times of the day. Another thing routine does is build trust and security which is so very important when you are getting ready to walk out of your child s room and leave them there all alone.
Of course everyone is going to build their own routines and no single one is going to be perfect. Think of all the small things like story time, tooth brushing, snacks and so forth. Just build these into your night routines and eventually all will work out.
One more thing I’m going to talk about when it comes to routine is make sure you keep it short. Like no longer than 30 minutes and when it is time make sure you are firm with not letting the kids take more. It may be a but tough at first but eventually the kids will understand and they won’t push the buttons very often.
A Snack Before Bed
Of course, you are going to give your kids the normal 3 meals a day. However if your child is active that may not be enough for them. So what ever myths you may hear just know that a bed time snack is actually a good thing especially for the overly active kids.
By giving them a snack it keeps their busy bodies fueled up for the night. Its way easier to get sleep if you aren’t going to bed hungry.
Of course, you do want to be careful what you give them. Of course, you don’t want to add a bunch of sugar to their diet just before bed.
You can give them things like a slice of toast with peanut butter, some crackers and some cheese, a small bowl of cereal or even a couple pieces of fruit.
The key is finding the happy medium because you don’t want to give them too much as that can be bad for sleep as well. I’m sure you know your child and it won’t take long to know what works and what doesn’t.
Keep The Temperature Right
I know as an adult I love sleeping in a cool room and I have a better sleep in a cool room. Well that is the same for kids. They to sleep better in a cool room. However the important thing is to be able to distinguish between cool and cold because cold won’t bring good sleep.
When you are wondering how heavy or how light to dress the kids then think about how you feel with too many clothes on. Dress them close to how you dress and you can’t go wrong.
One other thing to remember is that quite often kids will kick their covers off and dependent on age a lot of them can’t put the covers back on so of course we don’t want them to get chilled.
Look Around You
Have a look around and make sure the bedroom looks and feels comfortable. If it is a mess before bedtime with toys and such then maybe that should be tidied up before bed time. Secondly make sure the room is a comfortable shade of dark. When I say comfortable shade of dark that is all dependent on your child. Some like it dark and some like night lights. Again that is different for everyone so I’m sure you will figure it out.
Another thing to take into consideration is the noise in the house. You are going to want to keep those levels way down when it comes to bed time.
The Teddy Bear
A disturbing part of bedtime for kids is it is a time that them and you will be separated. That can be very tough on the kids. This is where a security object can come into play.
This can be a blanket, teddy bear and maybe even some kind of object. However I would stay away from toys because then it’s not a security thing but rather a play thing.
The security is important to the kids. It gives them reassurance and calmness before bed.
Not Over Until Its Over
The kids are in so many cases going to try staying up. They don’t want to go to sleep because they might miss something in life. One more story, another drink, or might have to go to the bathroom again. They are going to try but you need to nip it in the bud. The way you do this is by making all those things part of the original routine therefore not having to revisit those things.
Just be sure to tell your child it is bed time and make sure they understand that.
At the end of the day these kids will test your patience, they will push you and push you. The key is not to give in and not to get angry. Just stay patient and stick to your guns.
Eventually things will get easier. Kids love structure and they will accept it once they understand there are no other options. Just remember these kids love you and you love them. An extra hug or kiss isn’t really going to make a difference.
If they get out of bed be quiet and just walk them back to their bed and tuck them in again. I promise this will all work out as long as you are loving and patient. How to get your kids to sleep can be a difficult thing but it will all come around.
Who Am I
My name is Dale and you can call me Grandpa Dale. My grandson calls me GIGI. I started this website when I realized how many thousands of grandparents were out there raising their grand kids.
My wife and I have been raising our grandson since he was 1.5. Now he is six. You can see our story below.
Please feel free to comment below or ask any questions and I will be sure to get back to you as quickly as possible.
One more thing. I also have started a Facebook page. I think they all have their place. Feel free to join my Facebook page and help build it up as well. Its brand new so come be part of a brand new place. See link below.