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Bedtime ritual: how to help your child sleep well

by | Apr 14, 2021 | Kids, Parents, Pedagogy Parents

If you've just landed on this article, it's because your nights must be getting very short. Oh, how nice it is to be a parent, but a little less so when it comes to getting 3 hours of sleep instead of 6. Have you heard about the miracle cure? Maybe a friend told you about it? If not, you're in luck. It's four little words that will change your daily life: the bedtime ritual. Kidlee tells you everything you need to know about bedtime with a detailed description of the bedtime ritual to adopt so that the whole family enjoys peaceful nights.

First, let's talk about your child's sleep

In a newborn, sleep is composed of three cycles, each lasting about 50 minutes: falling asleep, restless sleep and quiet sleep. During restless sleep, baby will tend to make faces, which is perfectly normal. There's no need to worry. 

In an infant, sleep is composed of four cycles of about 70 minutes: sleep onset, REM sleep, slow wave sleep and slow deep sleep. 

In a large child as in an adult, sleep is composed of six cycles that last between 90 and 120 minutes each: sleep onset, very light slow wave sleep, light slow wave sleep, deep slow wave sleep, very deep slow wave sleep and finally REM sleep.

Bedtime ritual: how to do it?

Just like you, your baby needs a nightly routine. An evening ritual to fall into the arms of morpheus. Simple gestures to put in place, one hour before bedtime, which will make your child understand that it is time to sleep.

Stop the stimulus 

A moment before bedtime, you must stop everything that can stimulate the child. Starting with the screens because of the blue lights of the latter. You should know that blue light disrupts melatonin secretion. In conclusion, if you do not wish to play with fire or rather with the sleep hormone, screens should be banned in the evening. As well for the youngest as for the oldest.

Giving value to the bedtime ritual

Bedtime is an important part of your child's day. To begin the transition from day to night, simply put on the pajamas. Then a trip to the bathroom to brush teeth and take a last pee. This way, the child will be waiting for the sandman, all nice and clean!

Create the right atmosphere

Just like you, the baby or child will not be able to sleep if there is too much noise around. That's why it's essential that baby has his own room. Once it's time to go to bed, turn off the light. When baby was in the womb, it was dark. So there's no reason to think that baby can be afraid of the dark. On the contrary, professionals recommend putting baby to bed in complete darkness. The small nightlight is not recommended for children who are quite active, it can be considered as a source of stimulation. However, the nightlight is recommended for 2-3 year olds when the fear of the dark sets in.

Also, it's very important to talk about temperature. Have you noticed that your child has more trouble going to bed in the summer than in the winter? It's a question of the thermostat! The temperature should be below 20°C if possible.

An uneventful bedtime ritual? 

Of course not! The story is a key element of the ritual. In addition to being a real moment of sharing, the fact of telling stories brings a lot to your child. You can also choose a lullaby or a nursery rhyme. The most important thing is to use a soft voice to calm the atmosphere and comfort your child.

Bedtime ritual almost complete

Here comes the fateful moment, that of the separation. A hug or several, kisses, a blanket next to the child, everything you need to reassure him! It is necessary to reconcile your offspring with this moment of the ritual. Tell him that you are right next door and that you will be back tomorrow in great shape!

When should you be concerned about your child's sleep problems?

A child who has trouble sleeping is normal to a certain extent. Take, for example, the case of nightmares. If your child has one a week with different themes, there's no need to worry. However, if it is the same nightmare that comes back or the same theme, you should investigate. Also, the reason for the disturbance may be physical. This is the case with sleep apnea.

As you can see, we attach a lot of importance to the bedtime ritual at Kidlee. Our super-babysitters make sure to respect the steps of the established ritual. Thus, your child will sleep on both ears.

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