By: Karen Dennis
Many parents admit that they can cope better if they get a good nights sleep. My biggest tip to achieving this is ROUTINE. Whilst childminding I had a boy, Tom, whose mum said was difficult to get to go to bed. When I prepared to put him down for a nap, I would give him prior warning, by saying something like,”when we finish snack time, it is time for a nap, Tom.” Then when he was in my arms ready to go upstairs, I would ask him to say “night, night” to who ever was there – the other children, my husband, the dog,etc. When putting him in the cot, I would give a quick kiss and say “go to sleep now, I’ll see you later.” This really worked so I did the same sort of thing each day and explained it to his mum.
When my own children were babies, bedtime would follow a bath and evening feed, as they grew older they would still have bath, warm milk and a bedtime story given in bed snuggled under the covers. If a child is given a routine to follow it usually makes for a happier household. Try to avoid over stimulation of television, a warm drink and story is much more calming. My eldest son suffered with nightmares for a while. I cut out orange squash and they stopped. My youngest son was too clever for his own good, he knew he went to bed at eight after Coronation Street finished.
I recall one occasion it was on later than usual and he put up a fight for a while, until it was explained to him. Another child whom I minded was frightened to go to sleep in my room as he said there were monsters. It turned out that he had been watching Monsters Inc. at home. I solved this by putting the cot on my large landing, so he didn’t need to be in the bed room. As always questions/comments are welcome. Karen