How to Put Your Child to Bed in 15 Minutes
It’s the end of the day and you are looking forward to that 1 hour of precious me-time to indulge in a book or a nice couple of hours to have a decent chat with the husband.
But we have to get the little one
out of the way to sleep first, right?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had days when bedtime is spelt “PLAYTIME” in Laurent’s dictionary and the more I try to get him to sleep, the more awake he seemed. Sometimes, I ended up sleeping before he did.
These few months, I’ve been experimenting with little changes here and there to his bed time routine to see how I can put him to bed in as short a time as possible and I think I’ve found the best combination which (usually) helps him to fall asleep as quickly as 15 minutes. Bedtime story included.
1. Comfortable Room Temperature
Set the room to a nice and cozy temperature before getting the little ones ready for bed. Laurent is used to sleeping with air-condition on so we will make sure the room is slightly cooled by turning on the aircon about 15 minutes before his bedtime. If your child prefers to sleep without the air-con, make sure you open up the windows to ventilate the room well before bedtime. The last thing we want before bedtime is for the children to get all sweaty and uncomfortable in a warm and stuffy room.
2. Dim Lights
Some days, Laurent can fall asleep even with a spotlight shining on his face. Usually that happens when we are out shopping and he has used up the very last ounce of his energy trying to keep himself awake. When it is bed time, I’ve found that a dimply lit room is much better in inducing the little yawn that we are all aiming for. When we bring Laurent into his room to prepare him for bedtime, I will make sure that we only turn on the night light. The nightlight we are using in his room is an IKEA table lamp with warm light. It is bright enough for us to see each other, but warm enough to give the room a cozy mood. Very much like what we get at a hotel room.
If you are preparing your little one for nap time in the afternoon, simply draw the curtains to make the room darker and more conducive for a longer nap time.
3. Soothing Music
I picked up this little trick from Laurent’s infant care. I used to be really perplexed why Laurent was able to sleep such a long stretch of time in his infant care during nap time, but wakes up easily when he was napping at home, even though the infant care was noisier. I noticed that they were playing instrumental music during nap time which helped to drown out the noises from the children at the play area. I initially adopted this trick at home for Laurent’s nap time and it worked wonders. He was able to sleep for a longer stretch of time as he was less likely to be startled by sudden noises and falls asleep much easily. I subsequently adopted this trick for his bedtime as well, but instead of playing the music through-out, I set a 30 minutes timer.
You can try exploring the different music genre and see which ones help your child to fall asleep faster. I would personally recommend instrumental music as they are more soothing. I stream the music on Radiotunes. The app is easy to use, there are a ton of channels for you to choose from and you can set a sleep timer by tapping on the 3 dots in the player.
One thing to note if you are streaming music from a mobile device – try not to place it too near your child’s bed. I typically place my iPad or phone on the corner of the shelf, away from Laurent’s bed.
4. Aroma Therapy
Laurent has a diffuser in his room which I will use to diffuse essential oils such as Thieves and Lavender on a rotational basis. These essential oils help to relax him, build his immunity and is good for his sensitive airways, allowing him to sleep better at night. I only use pure, therapeutic grade essential oils by Young Living. You can find out more about Young Living essential oils and their multitude of benefits here. If you would like for someone to share with you more about this topic because the amount of information out there is just to overwhelming, leave me a message or comment and I will link you up with some of my friends who are experts in this topic.
5. Have a Regular Routine
This, we took a long time to build, but I’ve since realised how essential it is for a fuss-free bedtime. Having a routine means your child knows what to expect when bedtime rolls around and if the routine is something he or she enjoys, you will not be met with much resistance. In any case, having a regular routine also means setting boundaries for your child and it is good for establishing habits.
On a normal weekday, I will do a final diaper change for Laurent and let him choose the books he wants to read for his bedtime stories. We have a 3-books-max policy and I will go through the books while he take his last bottle of milk for the day. I try to read in a soothing tone as opposed to an excited one (kind of tough for books like Peppa’s Big Day Out!) so that I could slowly lull him to sleep. If he is still awake at the end of his bedtime stories (he usually is), I’ll turn off the night light, we’ll say our goodnight prayers and I’ll lay my head next to his for a while as he drifts off to sleep.
After months of trial and errors, I find that this combination works best for us in putting Laurent to bed easily, but there are good days, normal days, and terrible days. On good days, he falls asleep even before we start on our bedtime story. On normal days, he follows the routine and typically falls asleep in about 15-20 mins. Some days, he just wants to be an energiser bunny.
I won’t promise what worked for us will definitely work for you, but the idea here is to create a calming and soothing environment for your child so that it is conducive for him to fall asleep easily. The steps I’ve mentioned above are simple steps which you can implement and try out immediately so why not just give them a shot? 🙂
Do you have any nifty tips and tricks to help your child fall asleep more easily during bedtime? Leave a comment below and share them with us!