Bedtime Comforts For Babies Through Early Elementary

By: Rosa M. Henshaw, M.A.

If your children are having trouble falling asleep, or complain of nightmares, try the following relaxing ideas to help them sleep more soundly.

Bedtime Routine

Wake-to-sleep transitions might be a difficult thing for some children, and they need to know their routine (i.e. first bath, then PJs, brush teeth, stay in the bedroom and read a story).

Read A Book

Reading a short story together in their bed is a great way to wind down and can eventually help the children learn to relax in their bedroom.

Play Relaxing Music At Bedtime

Some children might build a fear of falling asleep, so calming music, such as ocean waves, waterfalls and instrumental music can calm restlessness. You might have to play it in the middle of the night, for those restless nightmares.

Include A Good Night Sleep Prayer

When praying together, let your children know they can ask for God's peace if they wake up during the night. God is always with them and will protect them. Sometimes, if your child draws a picture of God or an angel watching over them, it will help them when they wake up in the night and see the picture.

A Special Stuffed Animal Or Dolly

A special friend to cuddle with can do the trick. If a baby or toddler is having difficulty sleeping through the night, try dressing the dolly or teddy bear with a used T-shirt of Mom or Dad's. Sometimes the scent of their loved ones brings them comfort.

Record Yourself Singing A Few Songs, Or Reading Your Child's Favorite Story

Play the tape during bedtime. The sound of your voice can comfort your children.

Rosa Henshaw is an Early Childhood Psychologist and the mother of two young children.

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