Are you having trouble putting your kid to bed? If your child is giving you a hard time going to sleep, follow this guide to learn some incredible strategies and tips on how to make your kid sleep instantly.
Sleep issues aren’t just limited to adults, kids can also have trouble having a good night’s sleep. Whether they’re super mischievous or they’re simply having a hard time going to sleep, kids can sometimes take forever to go to bed. And when your kids can’t sleep, without any doubt, you can’t sleep too. Having a child who has trouble sleeping can be troublesome for your sleep routine.
When little ones won’t fall asleep quickly, bedtime can easily become a battle zone. It is even more exhausting when you have more than one kid; getting all of them to bed on time is one of the biggest concerns for parents. Putting your kids to sleep can be an exhausting and frustrating challenge if you don’t have any strategies or a night plan on how to make your kid sleep instantly. There’s a lot that can be done to make your child take a power nap instantly. You can strategize some bedtime hacks if your kid takes forever to sleep.
Almost every parent has had to deal with the difficulty and frustration of putting their kids to bed at some point, and for most parents, bedtime is a recurring nightmare. It seems strange that as bedtime approaches, the activity level of children keeps increasing. Regardless of feeling sleepy, many kids resist going to bed with every fiber in their bodies. This can be stressful for both kids and parents as it can lead to a poor sleep schedule for everybody in the house.
Sticking to a sleep schedule and setting up a night routine can make a big difference in getting kids to sleep without a fuss. When kids know what to expect at bedtime, they’re much more likely to have an easier time drifting off to dreamland. Read on for some effective strategies on how to get your kids to sleep instantly. If bedtime with your kids feels more like a battlefield, try using these effective tips to make your kids sleep instantly and even the odds of victory.
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Why do some kids have trouble going to bed?
When you’re looking for ways to make your kid go to sleep instantly, the first step is to figure out the root cause of the problem. You need to know why your kid is having trouble going to bed in order to strategize your night routine accordingly. Because sometimes, it’s the smallest things that make the most impact. Even a small change in a kid’s sleep routine can have a huge impact on how easily they fall asleep. Often the most overlooked causes of kids’ sleep problems are the most common ones.
Before diving into all the amazing tricks to help a kid fall asleep fast, have a look at some of these common causes of a kid’s poor sleep. It’s almost certain that you’ll find the answer to why your kid is having trouble sleeping.
Yeah, you read it right. An unhealthy diet or insufficient food is one of the major causes why most kids have trouble falling asleep quickly. Food allergies or sensitivities might make it difficult for a kid to fall asleep, and even if they do, they might have trouble staying asleep due to recurrent awakenings. The best way to find out if the diet is causing sleeping troubles for your child is to keep a diet diary by keeping a track of everything your child eats. This way you can identify patterns to what makes your kid have problems while going to sleep.
But again, if sleep disorders are becoming more of a habit, it is best to consult a doctor or sleep specialist about possible testing or try a food-elimination diet for some time to find a possible culprit.
Apart from an unhealthy diet, insufficient diet or food can also be one of the reasons why your kid isn’t sleeping soundly. If your kid has been snacking all day instead of having some real meals, essentially before bedtime, it is quite evident why your kid couldn’t sleep. An empty stomach is definitely a culprit here.
Irregular sleep schedule
Another thing that can cause sleep disturbances for your child is an irregular sleep schedule. Whether your kid is having too little or too much sleep, the sleeping pattern is most probably the biggest factor in determining why your kid is having trouble going to bed. When children become toddlers, preschoolers, or even school-aged children, their sleep requirements are always changing as kids grow.
If the afternoon nap gets to be a long one, it is obvious why your kid can’t get to bed and fall asleep quickly at night. As kids get older, their sleep requirements change. A toddler or a preschooler wouldn’t need as much sleep as a few months old baby. So a long nap during the day can prevent the kids from going to bed at their specific time.
Moreover, while it’s our first assumption that kids fall asleep faster if they are exhausted, it often isn’t the case. Instead, when kids are overly tired and haven’t slept for quite long, exhaustion might make it difficult for kids to go to sleep early. If you have a few months old baby giving you trouble while sleeping, you might want to consult a doctor to have the best solution.
Even though kids often quietly sit down while enjoying their screen time, it is most probable that they are super active afterward which can prevent them from going to sleep. The activity and glow from the screens can make their minds alert and some medical experts also channel it as mind-exhausting. In either case, it’s difficult for parents to put their kids to sleep instantly at bedtime. If your kids routinely watch their favorite shows before bedtime, you might want to reevaluate their routine and take the screening away to prevent any more sleep problems.
How to make a kid sleep instantly?
Putting the kids to sleep at night can be tiring for some parents. It is important for parents to know how to get their kids to sleep at night regularly, not just for one or two days. Listed below are some of the tips and tricks to help parents get out of this misery while making their kids fall asleep instantly and soundly.
Be aware of how much sleep is required for your child
Kids will require various amounts of sleep, based on how old they are. From typical napping habits to total hours slept in a day, understanding your child’s sleeping needs will help you set limitations and make a nighttime routine accordingly. If you are not aware of how much sleep your kid needs, here is a general sleeping guideline for different age groups.
- For newborns aged 1 to 4 weeks, sleep comprises most of their daily routine. Newborns usually require two-thirds of a day’s sleep. This usually takes 16-17 hours in a day, with 1-3 hours of wakefulness. It’s normal for newborns to not have developed a sleep cycle, so their periods of sleep and wakefulness can vary. And parents have to adjust their own sleep routines accordingly to accommodate the newborn.
- As newborns grow older and reach the age of 1 to 4 months, they start forming some sort of night routine. Although they still require the same amount of sleep, they start sleeping longer at night beside the wakings for feedings and changes.
- From 4 months to 1 year of age, the sleep requirements start changing. Babies this age require 14-15 hours every day and are able to sleep through most of the night, making it easier for the parents as well. This sleep schedule also consists of two or three naps during the day and evening. This is the age where sleep habits start to kick in so you should start establishing some healthy habits from this age.
- For toddlers aged 1 to 3 years, 12-14 hours per day is the usual sleep requirement. This is the time when kids start walking and the enthusiasm can often lead to super active days. Nights usually get better and daytime naps often start disappearing. For preschoolers, a nap after school time can freshen them up. But a late afternoon nap might sometimes make it difficult to go to bed early at night. Be that as it may, it is up to parents to start navigating their children into proper and effective nighttime routines from an early age and incorporate healthy sleep habits into their lives.
- As kids grow and go from 3 to 12 years of age, their sleep habits are on the road to development. Younger kids of this age group require 11 to 12-hour sleep a day. They might require a nap during the day, however, it’s not the same for all as it might depend on their activity and tiredness level. If they had a sports day at their school, it’s pretty sure that kids will come home wanting to take a nap right away. Older children of this age group need about 10-11 hours of nightly sleep but often get less than that.
- When your kids are finally teenagers, they require about 8 to 10 hours of sleep, but oftentimes that’s not what they get. Teenage is the age where all sorts of magic happen. Schoolwork, after-school programs and ventures, hangouts with friends, exploring the world, and many other activities often cut into their nightly sleep.
Set a nighttime routine
When there is a proper bedtime routine, kids will know what to expect at bedtime, making it less stressful for both the kids and their parents. If you do nothing else to make your kid go to sleep effectively, try having a sleep routine at the least. This doesn’t mean it needs to be overly complicated or so. Even doing the same things in the same order every single night will make a significant difference in your child’s sleep habits.
If you haven’t set up a bedtime routine and your kids are giving you a hard time going to bed every night, it is probably due to a lack of a proper sleep schedule. Although it might not look like something that can make much of a difference in how easily your child falls asleep, you would be amazed to know that it is actually one of the most powerful tools you can use. Try it for yourself and see the difference.
Some kids have patterns that don’t change much, no matter how hard you try. Kids who are early risers will still rise early even if you put them to bed later than usual while night owls won’t fall asleep until every inch of their body is drained and ready to sleep. That’s why it is important to set up reasonable bedtime routines and go with the child’s natural rhythm instead of imposing super irrational routines that restrict kids to sleep hours before or after their usual routines. .
Discipline plays a huge part in not just our everyday tasks but in a kid’s life as well since little ones learn through patterns. And when it comes to sleeping, discipline and a timely routine can undoubtedly turn the tables. Setting a nighttime routine can not only help you make your kids sleep instantly but it can be an effective routine that children can follow throughout their life to avoid any sleeping difficulties in the future.
Here are some of the elements you can incorporate into your bedtime routine.
Prepare for the bedtime
Children cannot go directly from running around outside into bedtime. It is best to have a wind-down period after dinner that can prepare them for bedtime. This can include book reading, chatting about their day, quiet music, stretching, or even breathing exercises or medication. So basically, bedtime usually begins way before the actual bedtime by prepping the mind to be quiet and restful.
A good rule of thumb is to begin the bedtime ritual with a preliminary period that begins almost a half hour before the actual bedtime. During this period, you can try turning off the TV, dimming lights, playing relaxing music, talking softer, and even moving slower. This will create a sleep-inducing environment and your child can pick these actions as signs that bedtime is approaching
Schedule dinner properly
If your kid comes out of bed asking for a snack, make sure to time their dinner properly. This means that they shouldn’t eat too early so that they’re hungry after the bedtime routine again. Make sure that dinner is over an hour or less before bedtime to avoid this issue. The digestion during this time will also help make them sleepy.
Overall, you need to ensure a healthy diet for your child because your child’s eating habits can affect his ability to get good sleep. Try to avoid sugary treats and desserts during dinner as they can affect sleep. Fatty foods and sugary treats are notorious for disturbing sleep. You can go try giving your kid bananas instead since they contain tryptophan, which is known to have a positive effect on insomnia. Fiber-rich meals are also helpful in making kids go to sleep.
Exercise is not only helpful for staying fit, but it is also beneficial for getting good sleep. If your kid is having enough playtime in the evening, it might be easy for you to get him to sleep at bedtime. Outdoor playing is a great exercise that your kids will love to do. And sometimes, you might not even tell them to do so. So, at the end of the day, it is utterly helpful.
Turn off the screens
Make sure to turn off the television, laptop, games, tablet, or other electronic devices before bedtime. You can start doing this an hour or so before bedtime. The light from the screens can promote wakefulness through both stimulating contents and tricking the brain into thinking that it needs to stay awake. Blue light from the screens of television, computer, tablet, or any other gadget can interfere with the production of the melatonin hormone which helps induce sleep and is an important part of sleep-wake cycles.
Allowing electronic gadgets like TVs or tablets into children’s rooms can provide them with possible distractions that you won’t be able to control once you’re out of the room. Turning off screens can be tiring as kids might become stubborn to want their tablets at bedtime but you will have to be a little strict if you want them to have sound sleep. Be sure to make the bedroom a screen-free zone or atleast make sure all screens are off at bedtime.
Keep it consistent
Children thrive on discipline and structure, which gives them a sense of safety and security. Getting your child into a nightly bedtime routine can help them prepare for their sleep in a natural way. But remember, the key is to be consistent and the routine needs to happen the vast majority of nights for it to work.
Routines are important, especially at a younger age, that is, for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Once you know the time your child automatically gets drowsy, pick that time on the clock to be bedtime every single night. Making it a little late by delaying an hour one night or rushing an hour earlier the next won’t encourage a successful bedtime routine with minimal resistance.
Make sure to aim for a routine that is comforting and relaxing, setting the ideal bedtime atmosphere. Eventually, your child’s body may automatically start to become sleepy at the beginning of the routine. The repetition of a bedtime routine will help induce bedtime in your child’s brain. The essence of a routine lies not much in the components that make it up but rather in the consistency with which it happens.
Try using sensory tricks
Sensory tricks are an amazing way to help a kid fall asleep fast. Every child, or even everyone, has a unique sensory system with specific sensory needs. Even if they don’t, they probably have some preferences in this regard. At the end of the day, we all have them. Some of us prefer to sleep with no blankets or a running fan; these are sensory preferences that help our bodies relax and encourage a sleep-inducing environment.
Similarly, there are some sensory tricks that your child may like, dislike, or are indifferent to. And if you’re aware of such sensory needs of your kids, well enough. But if you’re not, this guide will help you in that regard. The main objective is to incorporate some sensory tricks into your kid’s bedtime routine and see if it helps them go to sleep faster. Here are some of the sensory tricks you can try to make bedtime less of a warzone.
Big sensory movements
Although it can make your bedtime routine a little bit longer and you might need to put in some extra effort if your kid is a sensory seeker, it’s all worth it in the end. If you’ve got some active kids, or wild, as some may call them, they might need to have some activity that gives them proprioceptive input. Listed below are some high-energy sensory activities to help your kid fall asleep.
- Rhythmic jumping on trampoline, bed, or even stairs. If your child is getting too ‘wild’, you might need to hold their hands and join them in the activity.
- Crashing into pillows or cushions
- Riding a scooter board or scooty
- Crawling through a resistant or stretchy tunnel
Slow calming movements
For kids who have sensory sensitivities, slow calming movements can help them get to sleep faster and form better sleep habits. Unlike big sensory movements that require high-energy activities, slow calming movements can be soothing activities that can help relax a child to a point of going to sleep. Here are some examples.
- Sitting in a rocking chair
- Patting your kid on the back while singing a lullaby (This technique has been an effective one for most parents)
- Swinging – a little porch swing time before bedtime can be helpful
Deep pressure activities
Just like big and small movements can assist in making a kid sleep quickly, there are some deep-pressure activities that can help as well. Following are just some of the examples, you can use any pressure technique to put your child to sleep. But be sure that the pressure isn’t so much so as to suffocate the child.
- Hugging or snuggling with one or both parents
- Putting on a weighted blanket or lap pad
- Putting your hand over the kid until he/she falls asleep
Calming visuals are yet another strategic tool to help your kids fall asleep quickly. For kids who are sensitive to their surroundings, a calming visual input might just help them sleep better.
- Completely dark room with no light at all. Although most children are independent of the light of their surroundings, some kids might be sensitive to it.
- Soft light (for example, a night light or a lighted fish tank)
Set up a waking schedule
Based on how much your kids need to sleep and what time they go to bed, you must set a wake-up time that remains consistent every day. Creating a wake-up schedule as early as the preschool years can help prevent stress for parents down the road. But make sure to be consistent with the schedule.
If they get to sleep some extra hours, it will be hard for their bodies to feel tired at bedtime. But if you try to strategize wake-up time with consistency every day, you’ll be making everyone’s lives so much easier.
At the end of the day, kids are always full of surprises so don’t shy away from trying something unexpected with them. Who knows, you might even become successful in making them sleep quickly. This article has covered some effective tips and techniques on how to make a kid sleep instantly and soundly. However, if after trying these tips, your kids still have sleeping problems and you suspect that they might have a sleeping disorder, it is better to consult a pediatrician about their sleep habits or schedule an appointment with a sleep specialist.