Conquering bedtime struggles: Make the Bedroom Sleep-friendly
Are you struggling to get your preschooler to go to bed at night? Bedtime can be a ridiculous struggle with toddlers and preschoolers. There are a variety of things that go into making it tough, one of them being their bedroom. A kid’s room needs to be sleep-friendly to help make the whole night go better.
How to get kids to bed
Lighting is huge. Most kids don’t like the dark. Night lights don’t give enough light, and lamps give too much and are boring. So get a string of lights, like Christmas lights or other decorative strings. This is more fun and provides a good amount of soothing light. I also give my preschooler a flashlight to sleep with. Some nights we leave the ceiling light on with the promise that we will return to turn it off before we go to bed.
As long as your child has a place to sleep, the particular mattress or bedframe isn’t a big deal. It does help to get creative and make their bed a fun place to be though. You can buy a fun frame (like the awesome Pirate Ship bed from Little Tikes) or a bed tent, or you can DIY something. Ways to do this include sheets or blankets they like, making the bed into a fort or tent, or using cardboard and paper to make the bed into something else. Think card board wheels and paper signs to turn a plain bed into a police car.
Any decorations in the bedroom should be kid-friendly. Anything that has the potential to look scary while half-awake in a dim room should be removed. We did hang glow-in-the-dark monster stickers in my son’s room, we talked them up as being cute and friendly visitors rather than scary. He loves them, my two-year old is scared of them so we would never put them up in her room.
Only keep quiet toys in the room. If it makes noise, encourages movement, or has bright lights it shouldn’t be in the bedroom. Legos, little books, stuffed animals, magnetic drawing boards, and non-electronic trucks are good in-room toys. All in-room toys should also have a tub or shelf if they need to be put away.
A bedroom should be a friendly place, not a punishment. So, if you have the ability, don’t use the bedroom for time outs. If your kiddos associate the bedroom with punishment or being bad, then going into the bedroom for other things will feel unpleasant as well.
Bedrooms get stinky and noisy. Think about adding some soothing scents or noises. We don’t use either, but if you have a kiddo that is very scent sensitive, a lavender wall plug or scent cone might be fantastic. If you have a kiddo that’s very noise-oriented, maybe try a white noise machine or fan running.
Moms and dads, any other ways you make your bedroom sleep-friendly?