In my last blog, I laid out my personal “5 C’s” for a happy bedtime. Following these simple tips can help turn a rowdy, frustrating bedtime back into the peaceful in-between time it should be.
Today I want to have a closer look at “C” #1: Clean Up. Why is it important and what’s to be gained by spending precious evening moments cleaning?
Sleep hygiene, or the habits we keep that help us sleep well, can be important at any age. Having a bedtime routine is part of healthy sleep hygiene; so is a peaceful, uncluttered sleeping environment that lends itself to relaxation. For kids, that de-cluttering can be particularly important, since children are easily convinced that the forgotten jacket slung over a chair back is really a monster out to eat them, or the giant teddy bear in the middle of the floor must certainly be creeping closer every minute.
Mattresses can be breeding grounds for mold spores, dust mites, and other health-harming creepy crawlies. Keeping a clean bedroom is the best way to ensure that your little one isn’t sleeping on allergy inducers or health hazards. And since a child who can breathe well and who doesn’t sneeze or cough sleeps better than a child with the sniffles, keeping it clean is good for health day and night.
Keep It Fun
Bedtime can be frustrating, or it can be a time for parent and child to bond over a shared routine. Work bedroom straightening into your regular evening schedule. Do it early, before tooth brushing, pajamas, or lullabies – and make it fun. Play games, sing a song, or just take a minute to be in the same room with your kid(s), working together toward a goal. You may be surprised what a difference it makes.