“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… ”
It’s a lovely sentiment, but how to make it a reality? Getting your child to sleep can be difficult, and every age comes with its own challenges. Luckily, Ragamuffin has over 40 years of experience with nighttime routines. Here are our suggestions for a cozy and reliable bedtime.
Swaddles are perfect for babies under a year old, as they mimic the warmth, security, and comfort of the womb. Rock your angel to sleep in a buttery soft blanket, and they won’t even notice when you put them down! Don’t be afraid to visit YouTube for swaddling tips –experiment with different methods until you find the perfect wrap for your little muffin.
It’s a tale as old as time for a reason: a bedtime story is an excellent way to start sending signals that it’s time to get cozy. Even if your child isn’t yet speaking, research indicates that babies understand language early on. Consider leaving five minutes of free-connection time after reading, so that your kid associates books with love, and love with sleep. At Ragamuffin, we’re a fan of bedtime stories about sleep so that little minds can learn to model wonderful (and well-rested) characters like Max the Cat or Sleepy Lion
Something to Snuggle
Let’s face it: midnight wake-ups do happen. Make sure your kid has something comforting and familiar in their bed, so that they can attempt to self-soothe during the wee hours. A soft, squishy stuffed animal will do just the trick. Here’s a tip: buy a toy infused with a calming scent, or add a few drops of lavender essential oil yourself. Just remember to research your scents before you buy. Non-toxic, all-natural aromatics have an extremely relaxing effect on kids and grown-ups alike, and can be especially helpful for little ones new to sleeping alone.
Something for You
Don’t neglect yourself in all of this! Parents are just as much a part of the nighttime routine as kids. To keep calm during the inevitable cries of “five more minutes!”, give yourself a bedtime treat. Herbal tea is a great elixir for patience, or maybe you’re a decaf devotee. Whatever your drink-of-choice, reserve a special thermal mug just for bedtime so you have something to look forward to… before snoozing of course!
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits all approach to bedtime. Some kids are champion sleepers and others need a lot of coaxing. Just know that no matter the challenges, your children will ultimately recognize that you’re doing your very best. And one day, just maybe, you’ll recognize this refrain:
“The children were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.”
Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night!
– The Ragamuffin Team