Does your child have trouble settling down at night? Bedtime routines and structure are an important signal to children for when it’s time to settle down for the night. Looking through a sensory lens at the activities we do with our children at the end of the day helps us to identify what works best for our kids. Providing a calming environment coupled with sensory input that is regulating, is a great way to organize our children (and you) for a restful night.
Try these bedtime tips:
Calming music is a great auditory cue that it is time to start winding down. This works especially well if you use the same type of music each time, so that there is an auditory association to calming down.
A calming bath provides our kids with proprioceptive** input as they are sitting in water.
Putting lotion on after a bath with firm and gentle strokes is also a wonderful way to provide proprioceptive and tactile input.
Reading a book to our kids while they sit in our laps is also providing proprioceptive input as our body provides them deep pressure as we hold them.
5. Visual tools
A mood or lava lamp can be a very calming visual tool at the end of a long day.
And finally, hugs. They are the best proprioceptive input you can provide your child to help regulate.
These are also all great bonding experiences that you and your child will look forward to every night. Hope you and your little ones catch some restful Z’s!
**Proprioceptive input is received through the muscles, tendons and joints of our body. It not only tells us where our body is in space and helps with grading pressure, it is also very calming to the nervous system. Deep pressure, weighted blankets and massages are all relaxing due to it stimulating the proprioceptive system.