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Trying to get the kids to sleep quickly is a battle I seem to fight every night! With 3 boys, bedtime usually starts around 6:45 and I get back downstairs around 8:15. I then spend the next hour trying to convince Flinn my 4-year-old, to stay in bed and marching him back upstairs after he has appeared with something really important to tell me that he hasn’t even thought of yet!
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I must admit, I was lucky with my first child. After a quick book, he has always fallen asleep quite quickly, however, the same can’t be said for my 4-year-old. Even from when he was a newborn he would lie in his crib for ages before falling asleep. That was fine as he would just lie quietly, now though, he is up, playing with the toys in his room, spilling his cup of water he insisted I take him or deciding he suddenly needs a poo! All while this is happening I am praying that he won’t wake up my 1-year-old who will then refuse to get back in his cot for the next few hours.
However, I have found 3 tricks that if done right, do seem to get him to sleep a lot quicker and easier.
How I Get My Kids To Sleep Quickly Trick 1
The first is getting him into bed at the right time. Sounds like a simple one but it took some fine-tuning. Flinn needs to be in bed with the lights off absolutely no later than 7:20. Any later than this, and I’m talking 7:21 – is too late, he hits that awful overtired stage and then won’t go to sleep until around 9 pm, plus is more likely to wake up again at some point in the night. 7:20 isn’t an unrealistic time, however, most nights it doesn’t happen due to me stuffing around trying to get dinner ready, nagging them to get ready for bed or Hudson, who goes to bed first, taking longer than usual. When I do get him in earlier, I find, that he is more willing to get his Pj’s on, is less restless and overall not so difficult to get into bed. I don’t think that it makes a difference to what time he gets up in the morning but as the expression goes, “An hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight”.
Got to admit I’m not a fan of this one as I selfishly want to get the kids to sleep as quick as possible so I can escape back downstairs for some kid-free time, however, it’s worth it in the long run! I lie with them each night. I do this with both the older boys and I’m trying to wean them off it. This method also has a timing element to it. You want to lay there long enough that they are settled and relaxed but not too long that they expect you to be there until they fall asleep. I fell into this trap a few years ago and it was a nightmare, I would end up lying there for over an hour sometimes. With Flinn, I always find that when I first turn the light off he has a million things he wants to tell me, so I chat with him for 5 minutes then start telling him to stay quiet. He will still try and keep talking so I just keep my eyes closed and either try and ignore him or respond with just a grunt! One key point to note here is, do not fall asleep yourself! Again, this is a mistake I have made a few times but one I always regret as I’m then ruined for the rest of the evening!
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The last trick is the magic one! I was a bit dubious about it at first but when I tried it I was blown away! It’s using a blend of 2 essential oils – Lavender and Cedarwood. I put 4-5 drops of each in a diffuser on the landing at the same time as they get in the bath – so about an hour before they go to bed. If I think Flinn’s going to be particularly difficult at getting to sleep then I will move the diffuser to sit on the drawers next to his bed about half an hour before he gets in. That way he is inhaling it while getting his Pj’s on and having his bedtime book. The ways these two oils work are:
Lavender – This oil is very commonly known to be relaxing. Researchers at the University of Miami found that inhalation of lavender oil increased beta waves in the brain, suggesting heightened relaxation. It is also found to be a balancing oil, both physically and emotionally which makes it perfect for any child who has some anxiety that prevents them from falling asleep.
Cedarwood – This oil is a natural sedative. It works by stimulating the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. In clinical tests run by Terry Friedman, he found that this oil may also help treat ADD and ADHD in children.
Depending on how bedtime goes, I will either turn the diffuser off once they are asleep or sometimes I leave it on until I go to bed as by this point they are well into dreamland. The nights I use these oils they do seem to sleep heavier and are less likely to wake in the night.
In order for essential oils to work, you need to make sure they are pure and not synthetic. I buy all mine from Young Living as I know they are 100% pure and also sustainably sourced. I am also able to offer you wholesale prices when you sign up for a customer account using my code: 15863728
As with all essential oils, individual results and reactions can vary so start slowly and use with caution. Any questions comment below or send me an email.
Despite me sounding like I have it all worked out in this post, it doesn’t happen like this every night. As I mentioned before, the bedtime is often late and rushed, a bath doesn’t even always happen. I just aim to get the kids to sleep quickly to avoid having to deal with any irritableness the next day!