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Getting the kids to stay on their beds is a constant battle. You put the kids to bed, then they need a glass of water. You put them back to bed then they need to be tucked in. You put them back to bed then they need a night light. You put them back to bed, then they need to tell you a secret. That secret is always, “I love you”. You put them back to bed and threaten them with their life, then they need to go pee. You can’t say no to that cause you don’t want to clean up the mess, so you let them go pee. Then you put them back on their bed and fall over, exhausted. Well, I’ve gone through this with 5 kids and I don’t have it perfect yet, but bed time has gotten better at our house. I’ll share with you some of my tips for getting those little ones to stay on their beds.
1. Make sure they are tired. I have realized that the nights my toddler won’t stay on his bed are the nights when I let him sleep in that morning. My first and most important tip is to make sure your child is tired. That means waking them up earlier than normal in the morning. Getting them outside to play. And shortening their nap time just a bit.
2. Make sure they have eaten enough throughout the day. If you need to give them a snack before bed, go ahead and do it. Just remember to brush their teeth 😉
3. Use Monster Spray. One of the biggest obstacles we have when putting our youngest son to bed, is that he is scared of monsters. So, I’ve made a “Monster Spray”. It’s really effective at keeping those silly monsters away. All you need is a clean squirt bottle and Lavender Oil. Fill the squirt bottle with water and add about 5 drops of Lavender Oil. Monsters don’t like the smell of lavender like humans do. Once the kids are tucked in, mist 3 squirts over them. Then be sure to mist in the dark corners of the room and the closet, all the places monsters like to hide. 🙂
4. Say your prayers. I’m trying to teach my little ones to have faith in Heavenly Father. When they say their prayers, they ask Heavenly Father to keep them safe through the night and to help them have good dreams. This makes them feel a lot better when they are scared.
5. Read a book. One challenge we have is getting the kids to settle down before bed time. We’ve learned that sitting still and listening to or reading a book really helps them get sleepy. Usually when they sit still for 10 minutes, they are out like a light.
6. Give them a warm bath. The warm bath water will help their muscles relax. And if your kids are anything like mine, they NEED a bath before getting into bed after playing outside all day long!
7. Use a night light. There is something special about light. It chases away bad guys and monsters. But make sure you are not using a light that is too bright, like a hallway light. It needs to be dim enough to help them stay asleep when they fall asleep.
8. Make sure they use the bathroom before going to bed. My second youngest son sleep walks. I’ve learned throughout the years that he usually sleep walks when he needs to use the bathroom. Emptying their bladder before bed will help them have a deeper sleep.
9. Give them a small drink. No one want’s to sleep with a dry throat. And if you give them a drink before bed, there will be no excuses to get back out of bed for anything.
10. Use the 4 B’s rule. Once my kids are on their beds they are not allowed off their beds unless they are: Bruised, Bleeding, Broken or not Breathing. If they get off their beds to talk to me I ask them if they have any of the B’s. If the answer is no, straight back to bed with a warning. After that, night light gets turned off, and other consequences for dis-obeying.
11. Let them sleep with their favorite stuffed animal. It will help them feel secure and they will have someone to “whisper talk” to until they fall asleep.
12. Make sure they are not too hot and not too cold. The perfect temperature for sleeping is right around 69 degrees. I always make sure my little one has on long sleeves and long pants. Usually the thin cotton ones. That way they don’t get too hot and their arms are still warm if they sleep with their arms over their heads. Those types of PJ’s are the best for this.
13. Sing them a song. I always let them choose a song for me to sing to them. It calms them down and makes them feel safe.
14. Give them a kiss on their hand and tell them to hold on to it. I usually put on lipstick for this. That way he can see it and he doesn’t feel like he has to keep his hand in a fist all night long. This is one of his favorite things at bed time. He loves the book “A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon“. If you don’t have this book, you need to get it.
If your child likes to get off their bed in the middle of the night, address their concerns the first time. If they keep coming into your room, that’s when you use the ignoring technique. You’ve already addressed the problem, you know they are ok, so you don’t talk and just walk them right back to their beds. Do this as many times as necessary and eventually they won’t try it any more. For the first few nights, you might have to do this a hundred times, but they will learn and stay on their beds.
I hope these tips help you and your little ones get better sleep at night.
What are some tips you have?