Bedtime: 5 habits to avoid when putting our children to bed

Bedtime: 5 habits to avoid when putting our children to bed
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

When you feel like your child is never going to get tired, we need to redirect and get rid of old habits that keep our children from falling asleep when they should. Even for parents of the sleepiest children, there are times when getting them to go to bed may seem like an impossible mission.

Getting enough rest is essential for our children’s healthy development. It’s the moment in which the body regenerates and is stimulated for the following day. A good night’s sleep improves memory and increases physical and mental performance.

Studies have determined that lack of sleep may sometimes have more to do with the parents than with their children. These infant sleep studies indicate that some parents are responsible for their children’s inability to fall asleep.

The 5 situations you should avoid before bedtime

Here is a list of 5 scenarios you should avoid when you take your little one to bed:

1) Lack of a nightly routine

As children get older, many parents believe that sticking to a nightly routine at bedtime is no longer necessary. However, bedtime rituals are an indispensable way of helping your child develop consistent and effective sleep habits .

The best thing you can do is provide activities that help your child to relax. Some suggestions include giving your child a warm bath, a body massage, or a head rub. You can also dim the lights and read your child a story.

If you put these ideas into practice, your child will feel more calm and relaxed. As a result, they will fall asleep quickly and sleep more soundly.

2) Going to bed late

Children between the ages of 3 and 7 should sleep at least 9 or 10 hours per night. This is one of the reasons why pediatricians insist on a nightly routine. It allows us to establish times and activities to be carried out before bedtime.

If your little one doesn’t get enough sleep, he will be prone to crankiness and sleepiness during the day. It’s important to try to put your child to bed before 9 pm. This should be a consistent habit so your child’s body can get used to this schedule. With consistency, his internal clock will make him want to go to bed when bedtime rolls around.

3) Excessive stimulation while in bed

In this new technological age, many adults have developed the habit of bringing their phones to bed with them. If this applies to you, it needs to stop. The same is true if you allow your child to play on it when it’s time to rest.

Likewise, turning on the TV to watch cartoons or keeping the volume at a high level before bedtime are no-nos. All of these habits distract and overexcite you child. Create a serene and pleasing environment that allows your child to relax. Sleep will follow.

4) Letting your child fall asleep in mom and dad’s bed

bedtime tips for parents

This is a situation that should occur as seldom as possible. If children get used to sleeping in their parents’ beds, they won’t learn to fall asleep on their own. They won’t want to go to sleep unless mom or dad spend the night by their side.

And of course, then there’s the struggle of transferring them to their own beds. Often, this wakes them up, and then they have a hard time getting back to sleep. Another risk is that your child will be afraid if you are not with him.

The best option is to carry out the bedtime routine in your child’s own bed. Take your child to bed and say sweet things to her to help her feel safe and sound right where she is.

5) Lack of consistency

Part of our responsibility as parents is to create good habits for our little ones. You can’t give an order one day and forget it the next. The key isn’t in the way you put your kids to bed, but rather in that you are consistent with the process. 

Another fundamental aspect should be that you dialogue with your child. Calmly and clearly communicate to her the things she needs to do at bedtime. Make them appear comfortable and positive.

In the same way that your children learn to eat, bathe and get dressed, we want our children to learn to sleep well. This is one of the most important things they learn while they are growing up.

Furthermore, night time rest benefits brain development. It also gives your child the energy he needs for the following day, so he can learn and absorb new knowledge.

Give your child all your love and make sure he knows the importance of getting the sleep he needs. He’ll thank you for it!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.