11 Crafty Ways to Get Your Kids to Sleep Earlier Tonight

April 1, 2016

Being a parent is no walk in the park. It’s probably one of the toughest, and greatest, undertakings you’ll commit yourself into. As renowned pediatric surgeon, C. Everett Koop, once said, “Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”

Ensuring that your child is in good health is your 24-hour duty. Aside from proper diet and exercise, it’s your job to make sure you give the little ones a kid’s adequate rest. According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), toddlers aged five years and younger should be getting 11 hours of sleep every night. Kids aged six to 10 years must have an average of 10 hours of shut-eye at night. The struggle, however, is in convincing kids to sleep early to ensure they are well-rested for the following day.

Every parent of energetic toddlers needs to know how to make their kids sleep earlier. Here are 11 tested techniques to help you put your little ones to bed early.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

Children bedtime stories

Telling children’s bedtime stories have a positive impact on kids beyond convincing them to sleep early. A recent Harvard University study suggests that kids improve their language skills after a year of hearing stories read by their parents. Your bedtime stories must be aligned with their interest, whether it’s about Elsa and her sister all year round. They need to be kept interested, otherwise their minds would wander around.

“…and they lived happily ever after.”

Children have short attention spans so you’d better skip the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Keep your stories short and sweet. You don’t need to tell complicated stories, but make sure that your make-believe characters solve their problems at the end of the story. You wouldn’t want your kids knocking your door at the middle of the night asking for a “closure” in your bedtime story.

“The planet he came from is Asteroid B−612.”

Asteroid B−612

Bedtime stories is one of the time-tested tips to get kids to sleep early. Have fun yourself when telling your kids bedtime stories. Reminisce your childhood by sharing tales you loved as a child. This is a subtle way of sharing your life, like how The Little Prince influenced you as a person.

“What happens next?”

Professor Susan Wright of University of Roehampton in London suggests that “the ability to think creatively is closely linked to our cognitive/mental traits and also to our personality.” Make bedtime stories interactive by doing it together with your child. You can take turns in weaving the story while on a memory foam mattress. It not only makes this bedtime ritual more fun, it also boosts your kid’s creativity.

“When I was a little girl like you…”

Sharing your own childhood experiences

The effects of sleep on children cannot be understated. Online medical resource WebMD warns that sleep deprivation on kids is more likely to manifest behavioral disorders, attention deficiency, learning difficulties and poor health. Convince your kid to go to bed early by doing this bedtime ritual: sharing your own childhood experiences. This is an amazing opportunity to bond with your little one.

“Do you want to know about the names of the stars you see at night?”

Stars you see at night

To correct child sleeping patterns, you must introduce creative bedtime rituals. Teach literature, history and science in the most fun ways. You can share some fables, folktales and even astrological facts. Remember that a toddler’s brain is likened to a sponge that can easily absorb information.

“What’s the family doing in your beautiful painting?”

Making a bedtime activity
Uratex Kiddie Sit and Sleep
Photo courtesy of Uratex Foam Philippines

There are a lot of easy ways to train your toddlers to sleep early. By making a bedtime activity, your kids will have something to look forward to each night. Let your child explain his/her artworks or ask him/her to craft a story about the masterpieces. Allow your child to use imagination while snuggling up on a favorite cushion like the Uratex Kiddie Sit and Sleep perfect for children’s one to three years old.

“Give me a name, a place and a job.”

Don’t worry about running out of stories to tell. You can improvise by asking your child to name three things that will start your bedtime fable. This will keep him interested until the end. Make sure he rests comfortably on a bed with top-notch mattress technology.

“If you can be a superhero, what powers would you want to have?”

Keeping your kids interested
Photo courtesy of Persona Creations via Flickr, Creative Commons

Raise a good sleeper by giving him a reason to get to bed early. One of the most effective parenting tips out there is keeping your kids interested in an activity. They are known to have short attention spans, so this can be a real challenge for you. Make bedtime fun by crafting your own movie plot. Make your child the star of the story.

“Let’s do an ‘it’s raining and forgot my umbrella’ dance!”

How to tell your kids to sleep early? Break into a dance. A US-based father shares a trick in putting his child to bed early: “I do a goofy little bedtime dance. Video of this will NEVER be seen outside our house!” Make up your own dance moves—the crazier the better. Let your toddlers join in. After a few swirls, they’d go to bed by themselves.

“Mommy and daddy love you.”

Mommy and daddy love you
Photo courtesy of iandeth via Flickr, Creative Commons

Sometimes, the most effective ways to put your kids to bed early are the simplest. A mother says that whispering sweet nothings to her young daughter has become an important bedtime ritual. “I whisper to her how wonderful she is and the hopes I have for her and the type of woman she will become.” She ends by assuring her daughter that her parents love her dearly.

There is no absolute formula for the ultimate way for kids to get better sleep. As a parent, you can devise strategies based on your child’s personality and interests. One thing is for sure, however, there’s no way of guaranteeing their quality sleep without putting them on superior foam. The Philippines’ sleep specialist, Uratex, has got that covered!