1. Start Early
First things first, the earlier you start the bedtime process, the less pressure there will be to have your child asleep quickly. Bedtime is a great opportunity for individual bonding time, and it would a shame to skip out on that simply because of scheduling issues. Start earlier, even if only by 15 minutes. Reminders are a great way to ease your child into it and increase time conscientiousness. Beginning the routine 20 minutes to an hour before you want them in bed is a great place to start.
2. Be Consistent
3. Offer Choices
4. Breathing Exercises
Children may have difficulty calming down and relaxing after an eventful day. Breathing exercises are a great way to facilitate relaxation in your children. A relaxing bath or a quick massage have the same effect. You can try Back to Back Breathing, or Tummy Breathing. For Back to Back Breathing, begin by sitting on the floor back to back. Sit tall and close your eyes if you want to. Decide who will start – that person begins by inhaling deeply and then exhaling slowly, and then continues to breathe slowly and deeply. Their partner should feel the expansion in their partner’s back each time they breathe in and then try to sync their own breathing so that both partners are breathing in time together. Tummy Breathing may be better for smaller kids- you lie on the floor and place a small stuffed animal on your stomach. Breathe in deeply though your nose and feel the stuffed animal rise, and then feel it lower as you slowly exhale through your mouth. Rock the stuffed animal to sleep using the rise and fall of your stomach. For more cool breathing exercises, check out Childhood101.