Having a night owl kid can be really testing, especially if you like crawling into bed early! You so often hear how routine is so important, how your kids should have an early bedtime, etc, but this is nearly impossible when you have a night owl kid who just cannot go to sleep!
There is no way to force an untired child to sleep, and it would be unfair to try. Here is how you could go about dealing with a night owl kid, to make sure everyone gets enough sleep!
Help Them Settle Down
There are many factors that might keep a child up at night. It might be that they are wired to stay up later, or there can be factors in their lifestyle that keep their mind active, or give them the energy to stay up all night.
It is important to stick to a bedtime with your child, to give them some sort of routine, and look to cut out any distractions or factors that might be keeping them up.
To prepare for bedtime, and for them to try to fall asleep easier, do the following:
- Cut out caffeinated foods and drinks in the afternoon, and don’t allow them to have any after a certain time.
- Limit the amount of fatty and sugary snacks they have before going to bed.
- Offer light and healthy dinners, at least an hour or two before going to sleep.
- Set a routine in place where they get into bed each night at the same time.
- Limit the television shows and games they watch and play before bedtime. Exciting games and shows could get them too excited before bed, and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
Keep A Routine
It is so important to get your child into bed at the same time each night, even if it is difficult in the beginning to get them to agree!
Getting into bed at the same time each night helps their body adjust, and they will eventually learn to be tired when they get into bed.
It is worthwhile to keep to this routine on weekends as well, especially in the beginning when they are still getting used to the routine.
Wake Them Up On Time
Letting your child sleep in late is a sure way to have them stay up late as well. Going to bed at a decent time is important, but waking up early is just as important too.
If they sleep in on weekends or during the holidays, it will upset their routine, and they will more than likely go back to staying up late again.
You could even make it fun by having them choose out their own special alarm clock to wake them up in the morning. Early to rise means early to bed!
Create A Calming Environment
Make their room as calming as possible. Have a soft nightlight, and make sure windows and curtains block out any outside light and noise. This will help them feel less distracted, and eventually more sleepy.
A calm, soothing environment is best to help your child settle into a bedtime routine. Dealing with a night owl kid isn’t easy, but with a few tips and tricks, they will soon enjoy an early night in.