A good nights sleep is an on-going battle in our house. For us autism means that Ethan doesn’t naturally settle down to sleep well, or even stay asleep for long periods of time. Little E has been a good sleeper but with the lighter summer nights she is now starting to drag out her bedtime. For us a bedtime routine is extremely important to help the whole family try to get a good nights sleep. We try to follow these steps to help our children fall to sleep.
Having A Comfortable and Relaxing Bedroom
Your children’s bedroom is a key part of the bedtime routine. We have had to create a relaxing and calming environment for our son. He is easily distracted so reducing available toys is very important. We have tried to restrict the amount of colours used in his room so that he isn’t overloaded in a sensory way. We also have a no electronic devices rule for our bedrooms, this includes TV’s and game consoles. This means there will be no late night TV watching or game playing.
Buying the right bed for your children is also important for your child’s bedroom. There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when you are trying to go to sleep. At the moment we are looking at different bed options for both of our children. We have been looking to buy comfortable kids beds online from Children’s Bed Shop as they offer lots of different options. We are thinking that Ethan’s bedroom would benefit from having bunk beds. He needs our support in the night to go back to sleep and we feel it’s time to find a replacement for the airbeds we have been sleeping on in his room.
Little E’s room is being taken over by her toys. She has the smallest bedroom in the house and we have been looking into cabin bed options for her. This will give us more storage options for her room.
Limit Tablet/Device Usage Before Bed
It is always advised to limit tablet time before bed. Both of our children have access to a tablet but they do both use it for different things. Our son’s iPad helps him to relax from a day that might have overloaded him. To help him relax we tend to take him up to our bedroom an hour before bedtime. He will normally find something to watch on YouTube and become calmer. Our daughter naturally stops using her tablet near bedtime. She tends to watch a favourite TV programme before going to bed.
Give your Child A Relaxing Bath
A relaxing bath is the best way to start off your child’s bedtime routine. I find it can also give you time to talk to your child about their day and what is happening tomorrow. This does also depend on the child. Our son loves water so a bath can have the opposite affect on him.
Read Your Child A Bedtime Story
It is very rare that we read our son a bedtime story at night. We read his school books with him during the day and this is how he likes his routine. Our daughter on the other hand loves a bedtime story and she will always ask for one. They help her settle into her bed and she normally asks me random questions during this time too. The nights when we miss reading a bedtime story are the nights she will normally get up again with different requests for attention.
Give Your Child a Kiss and Cuddle Goodnight
This is the most important part of the day for me. No matter how hard the day has been this gesture will show your child how much you care. I think it also reassures them that you aren’t going anywhere and they will see you in the morning.
DISCLOSURE – This post is in collaboration with Children’s Bed Shop