Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Make Bedtime Less of a Battle

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of My Happy Pillow.
All opinions are 100% mine.

I don’t know about you but sometimes my kids’ bedtime routine feels like it takes longer than an oral reading of Gone with the Wind.

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They want a drink of water. Then they have to go to the bathroom. Then they want more water.

You ask them to pick out two bedtime stories and they come back with five.  

I imagine you’ve probably experienced something similar?

Sleep is important for kids. With school starting, I want to get my kids to bed at a reasonable hour to make sure they are rested and ready to go in the morning. Luckily, there are a few tricks I’ve learned that have helped make bedtime less of a battle*.   

Exercise

I’m a big fan of a healthy dose of exercise each day. My kids enjoy swimming, indoor rock climbing, and running around at the park. Kids and teens need at least an hour of physical activity a day. Children need additional unstructured play time time too. Along with helping kids stay fit, exercise can also help kids fall asleep faster and improve their sleep quality.  

The Before Bed Snack

Since my kids are constantly moving, I offer them a snack before bedtime. I often give them oatmeal with a little bit of honey and cinnamon. As a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal is a great snack because it stabilizes blood sugar and helps keep your child full through the night. Other good snack choices include bananas, whole grain toast, and eggs. Just make sure your child doesn’t eat too much because a very full stomach can actually disrupt their sleep.

Calming Bath

My kids take a bath every night. I don’t lather them up with soap but I find a warm bath is a great way to help kids wind down. Lavender is a soothing scent so I will often add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bath or use a lavender-scented bubble bath or body wash.  

An Object of Comfort

Being separated at night can be scary for some children.  A personal object, such as a stuffed animal or a special blanket, can be comforting and help a child fall asleep more quickly.  This is one reason I was thrilled when I was asked to review My Happy Pillow.  My Happy Pillow are lovable character pillows that also help children express their emotions. At age six, a young entrepreneur named Isabella thought up these great pillows that have one facial expression on one side of the pillow and another emotion on the other side. My daughter chose the pink Rosie the dog pillow with happy and sad emotions and my son chose Leo the Lion with happy and scared emotions.

These pillows are soft, lovable, and well-made. I was amazed at how well the kids took to their new toys. Sometimes, they receive a new stuffed animal or toy and within a few days the toy has been forgotten. This is not the case with My Happy Pillow. Along with taking the pillows to bed at night, they take the soft toys on the couch with them to snuggle with in the morning. They also took the pillows on a recent visit to their grandparent’s house. In addition, they have been using the My Happy Pillow to help talk about their emotions….which are, thankfully, mostly happy.

Along with pillows, the company also has cute, matching mini-me’s. These will be available soon and are available for preorder.  My kids have been taking their mini-me’s everywhere. They have a sturdy plastic clip that can be put onto backpacks.  

Oh, and as for the last minute dashes to the refrigerator and extra stories, I keep those to a minimum by being very clear with my kids and reminding them this will be the last thing we eat tonight or this is the last story we’re reading.  Overall, keeping our bedtime routine consistent keeps everyone happy!

Do you have any tips to make bedtime less of a battle?


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*The tips in this post are from personal experience and should not be used in place of professional advice. 
Olives-n-Okra