Friday, January 20, 2012

Is Night Time Fright Time?

As any parent would tell you, preparing a baby or child for bed is a rough task. Giving a snack, washing faces, brushing teeth, a bedtime story and finally, we wish that all is well.
At least that is what we hope.
Reality is, bedtime is like a 12 round bout with our little wee ones. As much as I try to follow what the countless parenting books suggest, night time in my home is everything but calm and quiet. If you happen to walk into my house at 9pm, you might hear crying, whining, jumping up and down on a bed, banging on a wall or just babbling to themselves.
It’s as if going to bed is like saying no more sweets or treats until you’re 18.
To help combat against this I have found a few things that help motivate my little ones to not only be happy about bedtime, but embrace it. If not now, they will when they start working!!!!
First, I’ve learned that kids will follow whatever you want them to by making it fun. We start with bath time. Crayola Bath Art Center is a great start! You can color the bath water; kids can paint the inside of the tub and even themselves! These easily washable, non-toxic crayons and paint are a great start to our night time festivities.
Next, washing them with Johnson’s Soothing Baby Wash relaxes them to the point of squeezing out a yawn or two before we leave the bathroom. Just the action I want to see; long and sometimes loud yawns from my little ones. Then we apply Johnson’s Soothing Lotion and we’re ready for the next phase of bedtime; teeth brushing.
After they are washed, dressed and teeth brushed, we say our prayers and pick out a book. One of the all time favorites is Good Night Moon! It’s a classic and a hit with the kids, plus it’s short and sweet. We then give our snuggle kisses to each of them and explain that sleeping gives energy to play outside the next day. No energy, no outside. That seems to be motivation enough.
Night lights are on and main lights are out. For the baby, Fisher Price makes a fabulous Rainforest Mobile that plays relaxing classical music with twinkling lights; enough to lure my little one to sleep.
Night time now is something that is looked forward to and now, appreciated in my home.

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