Want your little ones to fall asleep quickly and easily, without the hassle and huffiness of backfired bedtimes? In my current blog series, I’m explaining my patented “5 C’s” for peaceful kiddie slumber. Today, let’s cover # 3: Cuddle!
Having built-in cuddle time in the bedtime routine invites your child to slow down without the immediate separation of falling asleep. If you co-sleep, cuddling is the first step to a peaceful night. If your child sleeps in her own room, cuddling is an inviting transition time that helps her to feel comfortable and loved in her own bed. Slow down together, and you’ll find your little ones are more ready to:
I briefly mentioned the importance of a good snuggle in my first overview blog on the 5 C’s. Kids are born to connect. At some primal level, wrapping up with a loved one may be emblematic of being back in the womb, snug and warm against a grown-up’s heartbeat. Children instinctively settle in for rocking or curling up under the covers. If you have a particularly determined wiggler, use a book, a story, a song or another personalized distraction to help her keep her body (mostly) still while you cuddle. After a few minutes of snuggle time, you’ll find she’s more still and settled on her own.
If you co-sleep, remove the temptation to talk and interact all night with some kind of agreed-upon signal. Say, “okay, time to snuggle down” or find a cue that works for you to indicate that talking time is over and resting time has begun. The same trick works for solo sleepers. Divert the endless “one more story?” routine by creating a nightly habit that signals the body and brain to switch from “Must… Stay… Awake…” to “Time to Relax.”
Does snuggling help your children get to sleep? Does it help you get to sleep?