How to get a better night’s sleep when you have big and little kids is an age old question for all parents. Just because you have kids of different ages does not mean that you can’t have a better night’s sleep. Let’s take a look at some of your options to get a better night’s sleep when you have big and little kids.
The most important thing to do when you have kids of all ages to get a better night’s sleep is to start a bedtime routine for all your kids. A bedtime routine will set the stage for your kids helping them to realize that bedtime is approaching. For your younger kids you can start the routine with a bath and then a book. Your older kids can start with the book and then the bath. It will make things easier for you if the bedtime routines are similar.
When you have kids of different ages you will most likely have different times that they are to be in bed. You can start the bedtime routines at the same time and get the younger kids to bed at the earlier time. You can then spend some extra time with your older kids talking about their day without the interruption of the younger kids. Another option with your older kids is to still put them in bed at the same time as the younger kids but let them quietly read in their rooms until the correct bed time.
A bedtime routine benefits everyone.
Nighttime snacks are also good for kids of any age. You don’t want it to be a heavy snack because the digestion of the foods will interfere with all your kids’ sleep. The following foods induce a sleeping hormone that will help your kids to sleep through the night so that you can get a better night’s sleep. You should give your kids the snack about thirty minutes before their allotted bedtime so the hormones can start working their magic. Here are some suggestions for some great bedtime snacks for kids of any age:
· ½ cup of low-fat vanilla pudding
· ½ a banana with 1 or 2 teaspoons of peanut butter
· one cup of skim milk with a few grapes
Good bedtime snacks for your teenager include:
· one cup of healthy cereal with skim milk
· a low-fat granola bar
· a scoop of vanilla or strawberry low-fat ice cream
Another idea for getting your kids of different ages to bed so that you get a better night’s sleep is to keep your house darker at night. This sends messages to your kids’ brains that bedtime is approaching. The dimmer the rooms are in your house the easier it will be to set the natural body clock in your kids. This will also set your natural body clock and help you to get a better night’s sleep.
A reward system can help with kids of any age so that you can get a better night’s sleep. Your older kids may not need much of a reward but a simple conversation of why they need to sleep through the night. However, if they are still having a hard time you might want to think of having them earn something that they have wanted for awhile. Your younger kids can earn stickers or small toys until they have created the habit of sleeping through the night by themselves. When your kids are sleeping through the night by themselves you will be on your way to a better night’s sleep, no matter what the age differences are in your kids.