Getting children to sleep at bedtime can be a challenge for many parents, yet most parents are uncomfortable with the idea of giving their children a sleep aid, such as a sleeping pill. Natural sleep remedies are available for children, some of which require only a change in nighttime routine.
Form a Routine
Some children may buck when it is time to go to bed. If you encourage and enforce a routine, however, in time your child will submit. Making a bedtime routine that you can stick to also helps your children understand that this new routine will become the norm.
Limit Sugar and Caffeine
Some doctors feel that you should eliminate all stimulants from your children's diet; if that sounds too extreme for you, then eliminate stimulants at least two hours before bedtime. You will continue to have difficulty getting your children to sleep if they are racing around on sugar and caffeine from sodas, cookies and other junk foods. Do your children and yourself a favour by limiting these foods.
Each night, before bed, give your child a bath sprinkled with lavender or chamomile essential oils. These scents, combined with the warm water promotes a sense of calm. This may send a message to your child that it is time to wind down.
Music can be soothing to adults and children alike. Place a CD player in your child's bedroom and play sounds of ocean waves or soothing music to create a relaxing environment. Yoga music also promotes relaxation.
At bedtime, you should turn off all televisions in the house. When children hear the sounds of a television, they may be more enticed to stay awake. Read to your children every night as a natural sleep remedy.
A small cup of warm milk may promote sleep in your children. Milk contains melatonin, which is a natural sleep remedy. To avoid stomach irritation, give your child warm soy or almond milk, because cow's milk may cause an upset stomach.
Natural Sleep Aids
If all else fails, your child's paediatrician may recommend natural sleeping pills.