There are many natural remedies to remedies to try if your child occasionally needs a little extra help in falling or staying asleep. One of the best is aromatherapy, the use of inhales essential plants oils to induce health and mood benefits. Try a few drops of lavender essential oil on your child’s pillow, or a fragrant lavender room mist. Herb tea is another possibility – there are several herbs that taste good and induce sleep. Try chamomile, hops, California poppy or passionflower tea. Have your child drink a cup of tea an hour or so before bedtime. If necessary with a bit of honey.
Customize a bedtime routine
Whether young or old, everyone benefits from a regular nighttime routine. Not only does it provide a way to unwind at the end of the day, but it lets the brain know that sleepiness. For the best effect, a bedtime routine should take 30 minutes to an hour, involve only relaxing activities and end in bed. If your child is very child is very young, you’ll carry out the routine with her, but older children can usually handle most of it themselves.
A typical bedtime routine might involve :
A warm bath, putting on pajamas, setting out the next day’s outfit, a light snack, reading or other simple activity, lights out.
A few easy yoga poses before sleep is another way to help your child relax.
Bedtime prayer is an effective way to calm the mind, especially when it focuses on gratitude.
Even a young child can use the most simple meditation technique – paying attention to each breath in and out, while silently counting or thinking of a word or phrase.
Older kids may benefit from guided meditations. There are many apps and downloads available with guided meditations specifically geared towards children.
Most guide the listener through relaxing the body by retreat, such as a beach, mountain or meadow.
Just like adults, kids sleep best in a dark, quiet room that is somewhat cool – generally between 65 and 70 degrees at night. If it’s your child’s bedroom conditions that are keeping him awake, take the necessary steps to correct the situation. It may take little more than a white-noise machine, a bedside fan or humidifier and heavier drapes to help your child sleep better.
Provide a partner
Although infants should have nothing in their crib that poses a suffocation hazard, many toddlers and older children derive great comfort from a bed partner. For most children, that partner comes in form of a beloved stuffed animal. For others, it’s a well-loved and worn blanket or pillow. Still other children have more unusual choices – a toy train, a book or a favorite action figure. Having a nighttime friend helps kids relax and feel safe. Whatever object your child chooses, let her outgrow the need for this companion naturally.
Pets can be disruptive to sleep, but a very fearful child is likely to find comfort from having Fido or Mittens, preferably in a pet bed of their own.
Let your child sleep with a stuffed toy or other lovely, and remind him that the toy is there to keep him company and keep him safe.
Never belittle your child for his fear, but do perform a quick, matter-of-fact monster check at bedtime.
Rearrange your child’s room so that the bed is in a corner. This cuts down on open space monsters might use to reach up and grab your child.
Although a dark room is best for sleep, a nightlight can really help many kids who fear the dark. Let your child pick out a fun nightlight, and plug it in across the room from the bed.