Think about the perfect, magical night of sleep! Where are you? In a hammock on a warm island beach? Buried under a down comforter in a soft featherbed?
We all have different ideas about that perfect sleep experience. I need a dark, quiet room preferably with some white noise, cool temperature, MY pillow, sheets tucked in tight at the foot of the bed, and the top sheet folded down 3 inches over the top of the blanket. Yes, I have issues. If I was a princess, I would have felt that pea! Your child has preferences, too.
Some uneventful morning, while your child is still in bed, talk about perfect sleep. Have them tell you what it feels like and sounds like and looks like. Then just like the magical wizard that you are, you can make it happen. At the right time!
The key is to have the room ready when your child walks in. There can be no question that it is bedtime in that room! Prep it before dinner or during the bath or teeth brushing time:
- Turn off all but the one light needed to read. Book already picked out, maybe before supper is a good time to make bedtime book decisions.
- Have soft music playing, the bed turned back and ready to climb in, maybe a white noise machine.
- Stuffed animal lovies should be waiting in bed.
- If you do a glass of water near the bed, have it ready to go.
- You may need to cover toys with a blanket to keep them out of sight.
We all know that bedtime is not the time to be thinking about things, having discussions, and making choices. But when you prepare the room before bedtime, the room itself will help send the message that the fun day is over and there is nothing left to do but get in bed and go to sleep. Try it, the prep work is worth the extra effort. (It may take a few nights to change your bedtime culture, but stick with it. You could be having evening adult time a little sooner in your home and that would be worth the work!)