Creating the Perfect Bedtime Routine for Children

As a parent myself, I know how challenging getting a good night's sleep is for our kids & toddlers (and for us grown-ups too!). My son was not born a great sleeper and needed a lot of help with sleep, so I totally get how exhausting it can be. That's why I created our natural Sleep Balm, with organic herbs traditionally used to help wind-down and soothe the nervous system for a better night's sleep. The essential oils also make it smell like lemon lollies which your kids will love - some parents have told us their kids actually ask to go to bed now!

Take the battle out of bedtime by creating the perfect wind-down routine.

A good night starts in the daytime

Offer plenty of time for physical play during the day to get all that energy out! Rough play in the evening has also been shown to help kids sleep better. Lots of sunshine during the day (or bright light on those rainy days) and a healthy diet with less process foods will help set you up for easier bedtimes.

Dim the lights and screens

Creating a dimly lit environment enables melatonin levels in the brain to rise, making your child ready for sleep. Bright screens like TV, tablets and smart phones will suppress melatonin, tricking the brain into thinking it is still daytime. So it's best to aim to turn off screens at least an hour before their ideal bedtime.

Cuddles & connection

Make some special time in the evening for undistracted connection with your child. This might mean sitting down with them to play their favourite game, having some tickles or chatting about their day and anything they are thinking or worrying about. Filling their connection cup by giving them some undivided attention before bedtime, can help make the separation that sleep brings a little bit easier for them to manage.

Create positive bedtime associations with sleepy herbs

Once you're ready to start the wind-down to bedtime, Sleep Balm contains herbs trusted by generations to help soothe and calm your little ones nervous system, ready for sleep time. It works in two ways, first with Lavender and Lemon Myrtle as aromatherapy, with the sweet scent creating a positive, relaxing feeling which will become associated with bedtime if used consistently. Then as the balm is absorbed by the skin, the Chamomile and Lemon Balm can work their sleepy magic during the night.

Create a bedtime ritual

Choose the same sequence of events to do each night to create a relaxing bedtime routine. If any activities are stressful ie. brushing teeth, try to do it earlier rather so that it isn't associated with bedtime. We want to create a ritual filled with comforting, soothing activities that calm the nervous system in preparation for sleep. Here's an example of the bedtime routine I use with my son:

  • He chooses his pyjamas and I help him get dressed for bed.
  • We rub Sleep Balm on his tummy, chest and massage onto his feet.
  • We say goodnight to our pets.
  • He chooses a book which I read to him in bed.
  • We turn out the lamp and say nigh-nigh to moon and the stars.
  • I sing him the same two lullabies and cuddle him to sleep.

Be consistent

Sticking with the same soothing sequence of your bedtime routine each night helps children (especially younger toddlers) understand what is coming next, and helps them feel safe. Over time, they will begin to associate Sleep Balm and their soothing bedtime ritual with feeling sleepy and bedtime will get easier.

I hope these tips along with little jar of Sleep Balm, will help you take the battle out of bedtime, so you can claim back some more me time! You deserve it.

Xx Charelle - Founder & Naturopath at The Physic Garden