A baby who has trouble getting to sleep, a toddler who is afraid in the dark or a child who constantly asks you to read ‘one more story’... When you as a parent are tired and also need a good night’s sleep, getting young children to settle down for the night is not always easy. A nice and quiet bedtime routine is the best way to ensure your child goes off to dreamland without much hassle. Finding a fun and feasible bedtime routine is a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but once you have one that works, it is always a precious time of the day.
1. Take your time
Children are enormously flexible, but they do need structure. Both you and your child benefit from a clear evening routine: a last feed or bottle, brushing your teeth, kissing the cuddly toys goodnight, waving at the pictures of grandma and grandpa... These are all little things that you can easily repeat every night. These recognisable moments ensure that your child immediately understands that it’s now time to go to sleep.
Every child is unique, and so is every bedtime routine. Some children like being read to, while others only want some cuddle time with mom, dad, brother, sister... Take into account the needs and wishes of your little one.
2. Story time
When we sleep we process the events of the day. After an energic and eventful day, it is very important that your child first relaxes and unwinds before he is able to fall asleep. A story with cute, playful characters is a nice way to end the day.
Our Yumi Yay books are a good example. They tell the stories of four cheerful figures and deal with very recognisable situations: being scared, not wanting to clean up... The fun approach and the colourful illustrations will really draw your child into the stories. And before you know it, your children will see the Yumi Yay figures as their friends! It is up to you whether you are only going to read one or all four stories every night.
Or maybe you prefer to let your fantasy run wild and make up your own stories about ‘Captain Mustachio’ or ‘The Adventures of George the Glow Worm’, for example.
3. A reassuring light in the dark
Does your child wake up in the middle of the night? Or does he think there are monsters in his room? A small fixed light in the dark has a very reassuring effect. Make sure your child can go to sleep in a tidy room, to avoid any cuddly toys lying about suddenly becoming monsters.
The wireless night lights representing Billy, Finn, Otti and Tika immerse you and your child in the world of Yumi Yay. Each set comes with a night light and two covers. Your child can select which figure watches over him each night.
The Yumi Yay night lights are created for small children’s hands and have three different light settings. You can choose whether the light stays on for 20 minutes, 40 minutes or all night. At the lowest settings, the night light can stay on for up to 20 hours. The light will turn red when it needs charged. You can easily charge it using the bamboo charging nest included and the separate USB cable with plug.
4. When you are afraid in the dark...
Whistle a tune, sing a song together or put on some relaxing music. A lot of children will relax when they hear soft sounds. When they are still in the womb, children can hear their mother’s heartbeat or voice all the time, which means that singing a song is the perfect way to calm your child.
Singing makes children feel safe and secure and their eyes will soon close. Not a fan of music? For some children, simply keeping the bedroom door ajar so they can hear the sounds in the living room is enough.
5. A big hug from mom or dad
Tickling seems like a tempting idea to cheer up your child before they go to bed, but it also energises them again. It is best to end the bedtime routine with a hug. Ideal if you need to make up for missed cuddles during the day. You can also make drawings on each other tummies to end the day in a relaxed and fun way. These short moments shared with your family are often the best memories later on.
Try to create cherished moments like this, but don’t force them – this has the opposite effect. A long bed routine is hard to follow for (grand)parents, so don’t try to make it too long and complicated. An evening routine that makes everyone feel good will help the whole family get a good night’s sleep, so it is worth taking the time to find out what works. And, most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy this precious time with your children!
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