Establishing a bedtime routine can help encourage healthy habits in young children as well as ease them into a more pleasant night’s sleep. Children are usually very receptive to routines, and you can start instilling a nightly bedtime “ritual” in your home with children as young as four months of age. If you’re having trouble getting your little one to commit to a routine, try implementing these five quick tips to make bedtime and beyond less stressful for you.
Offer a snack.
An hour or two before bedtime, offer your child a snack that features complex carbohydrates and protein, like a piece of bread with cheese. The protein will help your child stay full through the night, and the carbohydrates will help him or her maintain an even blood sugar level, leading to more restful sleep.
Fill your child’s bottle with water.
If your child still goes to sleep with a bottle, only fill the bottle with water before bed, as milk, formula, and juice can pool in the child’s teeth when he or she is sleeping. This can cause cavities, which can be painful even in children who have not yet begun to lose their baby teeth. If you do start to notice enamel damage, schedule an appointment with your provider of family dentistry in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
Bathe close to bedtime.
Warm baths can help children feel sleepier. If you’re currently bathing children during the day, try moving bath time closer to bedtime to help children fall asleep faster.
Establish a few bedtime “favorites.”
From a favorite pair of pajamas to a toothbrush with a favorite cartoon character, there are plenty of ways to help children see bedtime as less of a chore and more of a fun experience. While out shopping, allow children to choose their own pajamas, bedtime toy, and toothbrush if they are old enough to do so.
After you’ve closed the door for bedtime, be firm with your children. Try not to respond to their calls and return children immediately to bed if they wander out of their room. Though this may sound harsh, establishing bedtime as non-negotiable early will help discourage your child from playing the “how-many-times-can-I-get-up” game.
Children of every age should have their teeth brushed before they go to sleep and children over the age of one should be seeing their dentists bi-annually. If your child does not already have a dentist, call Wynnewood Dental Arts today at 610-228-4452 or browse our website to schedule your appointment for pain-free dentistry in Philadelphia.