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How to get the kids to fall asleep fast is a question on many parents minds. Trying to get the kids to sleep quickly is a battle I seem to fight every night! With 3 boys, our bedtime routine usually starts around 6:45 and I get back downstairs around 8:15. I then spend the next hour trying to convince Flinn my 4-year-old, to stay in bed. I am constantly marching him back upstairs after he has appeared with something really important to tell me such as how he can get his foot in his mouth!
If you like this post then make sure you check out How I’ve Stopped My 5 Year Olds Bedtime Tantrums.
I must admit, I was lucky with my first child. After a quick book, he has always fallen asleep quite quickly, however, the same can’t be said for my 4-year-old. Even from when he was a newborn he would lie in his crib for ages before falling asleep. That was fine as he would just lie quietly. Now though, he is up, playing with the toys in his room, spilling his cup of water he insisted on having or deciding he suddenly needs a poo! All while this is happening I’m praying he won’t wake up my 1-year-old who will then refuse to go back in his cot for hours.
However, I have a few sleep tips that if done right, seem to get him to sleep a lot quicker and easier.
How To Fall Asleep Fast – For Kids Tip 1
Flinn needs to be in bed with the lights off absolutely no later than 7:20. Any later than this, and I’m talking 7:21 – it’s too late and he hits that awful overtired stage. He then won’t go to sleep until around 9 pm, plus is more likely to wake up again at some point in the night. 7:20 isn’t an unrealistic time. However, most nights it doesn’t happen. Usually due to me stuffing around trying to get dinner ready late, nagging them to get ready for bed or Hudson, who goes to bed first, taking longer than usual.
When I do get him in earlier he is more willing to get his Pj’s on, is less restless and generally not so difficult to get into bed. I don’t think that it makes a difference to what time he gets up in the morning but as the expression goes, “An hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight”.
Ok, so let’s admit it. Some nights we just don’t want to do the whole bedtime routine at all. So, on those nights, I bribe them with extra TV time. They are allowed to watch their favourite show on a tablet in bed. The trouble with this is that tablets and TVs emit blue light. This blue light stops the release of Melatonin which is what is needed to be able to fall asleep. Most tablets now have a setting to turn off the blue light but TVs don’t. I grabbed Flinn (and myself!) a pair of anti-blue light glasses off amazon which cut 90% of the blue light. Here is the link to the ones I got, they were only £10.99 and came in a variety of colours.
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I was a bit dubious about this one at first but when I tried it I was blown away! It’s using a blend of 2 essential oils – Lavender and Cedarwood. I put 4-5 drops of each in a diffuser on the landing at the same time as they get in the bath – so about an hour before they go to bed. If I think Flinn’s going to be particularly difficult then I’ll move the diffuser next to his bed about half an hour before he gets in. That way he is inhaling it while getting his Pj’s on and having his bedtime book. The ways these two oils work are:
Lavender – This oil is very commonly known to be relaxing. Researchers at the University of Miami found that inhalation of lavender oil increased beta waves in the brain, suggesting heightened relaxation. It is also found to be a balancing oil, both physically and emotionally. This makes it perfect for any child who has some anxiety that prevents them from falling asleep.
Cedarwood – This oil is a natural sedative. It works by stimulating the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. In clinical tests run by Terry Friedman, he found that this oil may also help treat ADD and ADHD in children.
Depending on how bedtime goes, I’ll either turn the diffuser off once they’re asleep or leave it on until I go to bed. The nights I use these oils they do sleep heavier and less likely to wake in the night.
In order for essential oils to work, you need to make sure they are pure and not synthetic. I buy all mine from Young Living as I know they are 100% pure and also sustainably sourced. I am also able to offer you wholesale prices when you sign up for a customer account using my code: 15863728
Got to admit I’m not a fan of this one. I selfishly want to get the kids to sleep as quick as possible so I can escape back downstairs for some kid-free time. However, it’s worth it in the long run! I lie with them. I do this with both the older boys and I’m trying to wean them off it.
This method also has a timing element to it. You want to lay there long enough that they’re settled but not too long that they expect you to wait until they fall asleep. I fell into this trap a few years ago and it was a nightmare. I would end up lying there for over an hour sometimes.
With Flinn, I always find that when I first turn the light off he has a million things he suddenly wants to tell me. I chat with him for 5 minutes then start telling him to stay quiet. He will still try and keep talking so I keep my eyes closed and either try and ignore him or respond with just a grunt! One key point to note here is, do not fall asleep yourself! Again, this is a mistake I have made a few times but one I always regret!
Something I have only started recently is putting some relaxing sleep music on. To encourage them to lay still and listen to it I give them ideas of what the music makes me think of. It is usually something like water trickling or a river or meadow with bunny rabbits hopping around. I tell them to close their eyes and imagine the bunnies or the water.
Finally, how to fall asleep fast for kids tip 6
This last tip isn’t something I’ve had masses of success with but I’ve heard many other Mums rave about it so thought I would throw it in. It’s a book called The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep. It’s written by a Psychologist and uses a unique and distinct language pattern that will help your child relax and fall asleep easily.
Despite me sounding like I have it all worked out in this post, it doesn’t happen like this every night. As I mentioned before, bedtime is often late and rushed, a bath doesn’t even always happen. I just aim to get them to sleep quickly to avoid having to deal with any irritableness the next day!
Do you have any tips on how to fall asleep fast for kids? Let us know in the comments below!
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