Whenever the weekend is here all I demand is some more sleep, alas! i am a mom and asking for such a luxury is asking thy lover to fetch some stars from the sky in a Shakespeare way!
my son turned 23 months old on Monday, he runs like he is some Tarzan on his way to save the jungle animals from beasts, always running around and jumping! he has learned to talk a lot, a lottttttt !! that makes my ears tired and he is never tired of running around, jumping around, getting curious, talking, asking questions, learning new stuff… no matter what.
so i opened some sites and did a little research, tried to read what scientists and experienced mothers do to put their kids to either sleep early or at least sleep a little more than usual. and here i was trying all of them one by one. after lots of experiments, here are my fool-proof or as you say, tried-tested-successful tips on putting your kids to sleep. no need to rug-mug through various sites yourself! all these seriously work my dear lady!
1. going bananas:
some kids may be fussy eaters but a banana before going to sleep or as a last meal may help the kids feel full and sleep comes easy with the stomach full. eat a little more at a wedding party and you will feel like dozing off at the sofa yourself. bananas are filled with carbs and potassium and often helps kids with energy during the day and with sleep at night. if your kids are allergic to bananas or allergic to idea of having fruits as a meal in itself you may want to skip this idea and move to tip no. 2
2. doodh doodh doodh … piyo glass full doodh!
warm milk before going to sleep.
its no secret, milk helps the kid sleep better. be it mother’s feed or a bottle of warm milk. make milk time more fun with a story-telling or just letting the child sit on your lap. many mothers have a dedicated song for milk time and many kids have a favorite cartoon they watch while having milk. I certainly am against kids watching tv before going to bed but some parents have no choice. the images of their last activity stays with the kid all night and i have a sit on my lap and let me call you sweet names kind of strategy. i always encourage my child with words like ‘i am so proud of you D, i love you my dearest, mumma’s so happy she has you with her blah blah blah…’ of course i mean all of this. say what’s true, say what you mean, say something that makes your kid feel how honest you are for your feelings for them. it always work keeping the kids happy and calm. a calm mind means dozing off on time.
3. Fire on the mountain, run run RUN
let the kid get involved in lots of physical activity in the evening. younger kids may want to crawl or turn around, toddlers may like to run and play.
search for playgrounds or gardens around your residence. if you are a working mom and find little time to take the kid to play in the evenings, ask someone to help you get his little feet moving. take the kid to play dates and malls at nights after you come home on fridays where there are special kids zone areas to play.
remember, a/any fruit before their play-time always helps keep the kid’s metabolism intact. a healthy diet will make them tired and not weak. weakness ain’t a good aunt to visit to.
4. get them to think
yes, make the kids think a lot. ask them to guess things under some boxes, give them a puzzle or even a book to read if your kid loves to read before sleeping. let them use up the juice in the brains and they will want to ditch everything and hug the pillow.
apparently, lots of kid docs say that the child has lots of activities going on in his brains which make them mentally active all the time. they tend to think more then adults do. and getting them involved in something where they have to think and apply logic may make them feel tired.
adults too like to solve some crosswords and sudoku at night, read something thats heavy on the brains or just watch a film. extracting so much from the surrounding and only letting her/his brain do all the work will create the ‘lets hit the bed now’ feeling. my curious little kitten always blabbers the most just before his bedtime and this mumma lets him drain all that energy and curiousness, it has helped me a dozen times already!
5. cranberry and grapes
nope, i am not suggesting alcohol but cranberries and grapes have juices that helps calm the mind. a glass of cranberry tart juice or a string of grapes for a mid night snack always helps relax the mind. having it in the morning is very healthy but certainly not for adults who want to rush to work rather than feel relaxed early morning.
cranberry has melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates sleep or sleep patterns. cranberry flavored juices are often famous to be taken along with alcohol for adults. it releases all your stress and creates a calmness.
giving some harmless cranberries and fresh grapes from the market will help your kids too. also its a good substitute for sugar just in case you are not giving any other form of raw or processed sugar in your kid’s meals.
you know how sugar works! ask all those bars of chocolates and those desserts you had during pregnancy to feel better.
6. press it warm
its a super tried and tested and recommended tip from my MIL; she says keeping some cloth, a soft toy or anything that’s bulky but not heavy against the child’s chest always help them sleep 60 to 90 minutes longer! wow! this sounds super hai na ? i tried inculcating a plush toy habit for my son, he preferred keeping a soft Dohar. this is his favorite blue one.
this works for a lot of kids, it did for my husband and a neighbor’s kid and my kid any maybe your kid too. i tried to look around for those cutsie elephant soft toy pillow but didn’t find it here. contact me on email@example.com in case you have those and would like to share/sale it to me please. so the theory says, anything that presses against the kid’s chest that’s not heavy in weight but feels warm and soft will replace the mother’s womb or her bosom and keep the kid emotionally happy and secured. this directly affects the sleep pattern and the kid shall sleep 90 mins longer. have tried this myself. the short cap nap in the noon turned into a nice 3 hour long sleep time. i am very happy with him waking up fresh and happy in the evening.
7. you and I
take a short walk with your kid in the morning , or just spend some lovely cuddle time at night,
let the kid feel happy before going to bed. the child when happy has a calm mind. a mind with no heartbreaks or sadness has the power to feel more relaxed compared to that which isn’t. let the kid feel loved and pampered. play on the bed and kiss him goodnight, make the kid feel specially taken care of and loved. you will see the magic happening when the kid sleeps peacefully and for a longer time. you will see the kid smile at you when you see him first thing in the morning. [ no kidding with all the kids i just mentioned] :p
the day my kid sleeps happy and loved he sleeps for an hour more than usual. yelling at your kids to sleep or getting angry because the child wants to jump a little more on the bed will not only sleep a little less but even his sleeping patterns and his dreams are not weighing on a healthier side of the happiness scale. you don’t like to be yelled at, and nor do they!
8. bathe and clean
a tried tested recommended and favored by all mothers across the world. now that summer is approaching, a warm bath before bed and a lotion massage will do the trick. let the kid feel fresh and light and clean and happy and tidy and relaxed! the pretty smell of the lotion will also make you want to cuddle next to the kid.
a few kisses and a fresh nightsuit, a bed time story or a hymn, do whatever favors you both and the kid will sleep with a smile without creating any fuss.
“The only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
let me know if you have any interesting and experienced ways to putting your kids to bed early or sleep till late.
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lots of wishes and good luck on these.