Slipping into Slumberland can be a challenge for many parents and kids alike. “Just 10 more minutes” of playtime or your little one’s favorite show, and now bedtime has come and gone. But you convince yourself that your baby is tired and will sleep. Not exactly.
Establishing your children’s bedtime routine is a sacred act and can act as a powerful tool of connection with your children. Getting your child to wind down at night can go a long way in helping baby sleep through the night. Children who don’t sleep well tend to have a greater susceptibility towards behavioral issues.
Ritual and stability are the cornerstones of sleep remedies for children who find it difficult to make it to the magic carpet ride.
Here are some Ayurvedic ways on making better bedtime routines:
Balance Vata with rhythmic routine
Nervousness and nightmares can be attributed to an imbalance of Vata dosha. Pacify this airy dosha by rooting it with routine that’s consistent and definite. While getting babies into a routine for sleeping might meet some initial resistance, keep at it. Repetition makes children feel grounded and secure as they are sure of the predictable pattern.
As a parent, do what you think is best based on personal preference and practicality. Your routine might include bathing, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, laying out clothes for the next day, reading a story, praying and snuggle time. It could be anything as long as it is soothing and consistent. A strong-willed child might want to bring their own sense of rhythm, so plan their bedtime routine with them.
Sweet milk for sweet dreams
According to Ayurvedic diet rules, your last meal should be consumed at least three hours before bedtime for optimum digestion. So if your kid loves to snack, this is something you’ll need to regulate. Healthy habits formed during childhood tend to mold the personality as an adult. This Ayurvedic sleep potion will work wonders in chasing away the nom-nom monsters in your child’s tummy.
Sleep Potion Recipe: Warm a cup of organic milk. Add a pinch of nutmeg, ground cardamom, cinnamon and a spot of honey. Stir and let your child drink this before brushing. If your child can’t have dairy, substitute with almond milk.
The sweet taste is pleasant as is the aroma of the spices. In fact, you can nudge your child’s imagination by saying that this is a magical potion for sweet dreams.
Relax with a gentle rub down
If you are wondering how to get my baby into a sleep routine, give them something happy to look forward to. Young children will appreciate a comforting massage with warming oils such as sesame to unwind their bodies and revel in the touch of love. Add a few drops of sleep-inducing scents such as organic lavender or chamomile essential oils for extra lovin’.
Move from top to bottom with downward strokes and small circles. Finish by massaging the soles of the feet. Massage is another great Vata vanquisher.
Say goodnight to Grandma
A ritual which draws a circle of comfort with loved ones is key in your baby sleep program. Bring the important people in your child’s life like grandparents, cousins, friends, teachers and even those special stuffed animals in your child’s nightly wishing ritual. On certain nights, you can ask your child if they would like to add another person to their circle – a new neighbor or the moon, perhaps?