Making Bedtime Pleasant and Peaceful
- Develop special bedtime routines with your child - a special song, a good-night rhyme, a stuffed animal just to sleep with.
- For many children, the key to successful bedtime is helping them "wind down". Many tantrums are caused when parents try to put children to bed without ample preparation.
- Help your child adjust to the idea of going to bed by creating a sense of calm and allowing time for her to transition from play to rest.
The classic bedtime story is a great way to make the transition to sleep. Reading together can provide quiet cuddling time, help your child relax before bed, and instill a lifelong love reading.
This activity helps children anticipate going to bed and is a fun way to introduce concepts of time and numbers.
- Set a timer for 1 hour before bedtime and show your child what you are doing.
As your child completes his/her bedtime activities, announce how much time is left every fifteen minutes.
When the last fifteen-minute period starts, begin making final preparations for going to sleep - snuggle and talk about the day, read a special story, or sing a favorite song.
- Make a list of the various activities your child does each night before bed (e.g., put on pajamas, brush teeth, have a drink, etc.) using pictures to represent each activity.
Make a list of the pictures of all the bedtime activities your child must complete each night before bed.
As your child does each activity on the picture list, she will know that bedtime is approaching bedtime.
- Be sure the final activity is fun and soothing.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen, Mark Teague
A story of ten dinosaurs who resist bedtime by acting out in funny and mischievous ways. Children will recognize themselves in the dinosaurs' behavior and laugh out loud at the big, comical and colorful illustrations. Toddlers learn big dinosaur names like 'Stegosaurus' while they learn a lesson about bedtime antics. (Scholastic)
Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Counting kisses and toes, among other things, a father and young daughter count down to bedtime. The calming pace and loving language help children relax and the countdown helps them learn their numbers at the same time. (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
An adventure about a spirited kitten who is determined to get a lick of the moon, which she thinks is a bowl of milk. Its bold and original artwork and captivating story engage young children's imaginations before bedtime. (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
A playful gorilla frees all the animals in the zoo and they all follow the sleepy and oblivious watchman home to cuddle with him and his wife and perform other antics. This is a light tale with highly-detailed and humorous illustrations that children enjoy reading over and over again. (G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin)
Reprinted with the permission of the Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
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