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We have a nightly routine in my house (shocking, I know!). We eat dinner, wrangle the kids upstairs, give them a bath, get them into jammies, and curl up to read books. Once reading is done, it’s sleep time. And this can be the hardest part of the day! Parents, you’re frustrated. Children, you may be over tired. Can I share some of my children sleep tips with you?
That’s right: I’m gonna suggest that you snuggle them to sleep.
I know, I know. It’s glorious! It’s the time of day you yearn for. You want that couple of hours peace. But dadgummit, they are not going to sleep.
So lemme share these children sleep tips with you.
We railed hard against our kids’ sleep habits for some unknown reason… especially after we had two kids. For a loooooong time, I would go help our son fall asleep while my daughter read books or watched TV with my husband. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t falling asleep until 9:30 pm or later.
That is way late when she needs to wake up by 7:00 am!
Somehow, someway, I got a hair-brained idea to change tactics. It was a course of action my husband was a little less than enthused by, but sleep is a struggle I don’t want to battle.
I would snuggle with *BOTH* children in *ONE* bed until they fell asleep.
Crazy, right? A solid 1-2 hours of my evening is wrapped up in bedtime, but I have to let you in on a little secret:
It works, in part, because it works for us. It works, in part, because it gives me a chance to listen to their breathing get heavier, watch their eyelids get droopy, and feel the weight of them sink into me as they drift off to slumber.
Sleep is such a vulnerable experience for us, and I want to create a safe haven for them through me. Life is turbulent enough for kiddos… why not create a safety net?
One of my parenting advice go tos – Elizabeth Pantley – outlines some reasons why your child wants you to help them go to sleep each night:
- She’s scared. Things go bump in the night. Monsters lurk around closet doors. Sometimes, kids just want the comfort and security of Mom or Dad to help them feel safe.
- He’s worried. The end of a long day is truly a chance to unwind. For a lot of our kids, this is their first unadulterated time they have with us. They may unload their dreams, fears, and anxieties on us as parents. It can be frustrating, but can you reframe that as He loves and trusts me enough to share this? How does that feel when you make that shift?
- She’s not sleepy. Let me level with you here on this one – bedtime is a feeling, not an hour. My daughter sleeps way differently from my son. Because she’s anti-nap right now, she is ready to crash out around 8:30 pm (if not earlier!). If I try that with my son… woo boy is everyone in for a long, frustrating night. But snuggling with him keeps him calm and keeps him in bed, and that’s a far better alternative from puzzles at 2 am!
- He loves you.
Well, if that last one doesn’t tug at the ol’ heart strings, I don’t know what will.
So parents, please take heart! Snuggles are not the enemy. Sure, it can be tedious and frustrating, but it’s a great way to reconnect with these littles that love you tremendously… and who knows! You may catch a couple of extra winks, too!
What does your sleep routine look like?