👶 Did you know that having a bedtime ritual promotes baby's sleep?👶
- 29 Feb, 2020
Establishing a ritual means creating a familiar and reassuring atmosphere for your child. Indeed, thanks to the ritual, the baby will anticipate the key moments before bedtime and thus prepare for it gently and calmly.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RITUAL
From their first days, a child needs to be accompanied in his new life. We must help him to apprehend this life, by accompanying him, by listening to him and by remaining present for him.
The regularity and predictability offered by the rituals bring this feeling of security that baby needs, and that reassures him. He thus finds benchmarks and assimilates the order of things.
“The clearly established routines reassure the child because they allow him to know what is going to happen and to situate himself in time. For example, the dodo routine can help the child fall asleep because you have to be both calm and confident to let yourself go to sleep. When a child knows the steps of the routine before going to sleep, he falls asleep more easily because he feels safe.
Depending on the child's age, daily routines can take up to 40% of the time. "
ADVICE FOR AN EFFICIENT RITUAL
There is not just one ritual, there are no models and there are no rules. At grandpa and grandma's, with the nanny, at home… the ritual may be different but always the same!
However, there are a few key points to take into account for a 100% successful ritual:
- Tell your child
Half an hour before bedtime, it is important that your child is calm. Ask him to put away the toys, help him for more fun, and offer him books, or a quiet game, explaining that it will soon be time to go to bed. No more screams, no more jumps… help your child to channel himself.
- Anticipate requests
Prepare your child's bedtime by anticipating a water bottle, the pacifier, and the comforter! Once the ritual has started, avoid leaving it. Do not spread yourself too thin and be available for your child.
- Low voice and softness
Turn down the volume of your voice, but also of television and other devices. Be calm and attentive.
- Set limits (for adults)
You will surely be entitled to the incessant calls: “I want to pee”, “I don't want to sleep”… It can last a long time, a very long time, so long that a moment has arrived, your child has understood that you come to each time whatever the reason.
With children aged 3 and over, you can set limits in the form of a game. The principle is to offer your child 3 tickets per night. The child can use these tickets as soon as you leave the room to make room for the dodo. He will then have the right to call you 3 times, a ticket corresponding to a call. The goal not being to arrive at the 3rd ticket and that your child feels neglected, you will play on the interest of not using these tickets: on a weekly table, your child will be able to accumulate his unused tickets to have a reward when the weekend comes.
This game is not to be practiced for 3 years so as not to force your child to do something of which he does not have the capacity.
The interest of this game is to reveal to your child his competence to be able to make beautiful sweet nights alone and without fear. Your interest is to be able to impose your limits so as not to give in to all possible and unimaginable demands of your child.
SLEEPING RITUAL EXAMPLE
Here is an example of a well-installed and effective ritual. You are free to take or leave what you want. This can be an inspiration for you and your baby.
- We brush our teeth. With specific music, it makes this moment much more fun, and in addition, it allows you to control the timing: at the end of the song, about 2 min will have passed!
- We're going to pee if we're tall enough.
- Good night dad (or mom if it is the dad who makes the bed)! Big hug, big kisses, see you tomorrow morning, kisses I love you!
- Head to the room with a blanket! And yes, a comforter is also part of the ritual! And it's a great companion!
- We say “goodbye” to the sun. We close the shutters together, or we look out the window at the sun setting behind the shutters.
- It's time for history! We sit, or even better, in mom's arms, we read a story, or two! To enhance your child, let him choose a book and you choose the 2nd.
- Fire extinction! When the stories are over, it's time to go to bed. The night light is turned on and the light is turned off. Still, with a view to promoting the child, let him do it.
- Soft hug. Take the time to take your child in your arms before placing him in his bed. He must feel your presence and calm down against you. Cuddle him, kiss him, talk to him. Explain to him that it is time for the big dodo, that you meet tomorrow morning for breakfast, to go to school ... and that you are right next door. Always have the same words, key phrases that will reassure the baby.
- Go to bed, warm! Slipped under the sheets or in the sleeping bag, the little feet will be warm to make a big sleep.
- Good night… WHO? Once lying under the duvet, we say good night to all the people that baby loves to make him think of beautiful things before the separation. “Good night… granny!” “Good night… auntie!”… Play with the words, make him laugh while remaining in a whisper and calm. “Good night… nose!”, “Good night… the cheeks!”…
- And finish with “Good night (your child's first name)” to leave the room and make way for the big a comforting stuffed animal to cuddle with.
The ritual finished, you have to practice the game of limits or not. In all cases, it will be important to remain available for your child while placing limits on these calls.