Our boys have energy like you wouldn’t believe. If only there was a way to harness it…I am quite certain that they would produce more than one of those fancy schmancy windmills. Their energy is good for many things, like making thundering noises running laps around our house while simultaneously waking up their sister. Or wearing out our couch cushions from jumping on them so much. Just to name a few…
But here are some tride-and-true suggestions for helping high-energy kids fall asleep (tested by yours truly):
1) Establish (and stick with) a routine.
A bedtime routine is crucial for high-energy children. Determine what you would like your child to accomplish before going to bed (bath/shower, teeth brushed, pajamas, reading, etc) and then encourage him/her to do them in the same order each night. Predictability is calming.
2) Cut out the sugar for at least an hour before bed.
If you are going to serve dessert after dinner, just make sure to do so well before your kids are getting ready for bed. A sugar high is a great way to set the stage for bedtime disaster.
3) Limit the roughhousing.
My husband is such an amazing hands-on dad and loves to wrestle with our boys…but it definitely makes settling them down for bed much more challenging if they have just had a wresting match with their dad. Roughhouse to your heart’s content…just do it well before bedtime. We’re setting the stage for a calm, quiet bedtime routine.
4) Diffuse lavender essential oil.
This is the tip that has made the BIGGEST difference in our going-to-bed routine! In an attempt to combat Little Brother’s allergies, I have started diffusing 3 drops of lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils in the boys room during the night. Time will tell if it helps with his allergies, but there has been one awesome side effect that I wasn’t expecting! It normally takes them at least an hour from the time that we put them to bed to the time that they are actually asleep. When I started diffusing these oils at night, they were asleep within 10-20 minutes! It is seriously a miracle. Other people say that rubbing lavender essential oil works on the bottoms of their child’s feet works, but this didn’t make any difference for my boys.
Please note: Peppermint oil isn’t recommended for kids under 5, so be sure to leave that one out if your child is 5 or younger.
(And just so you know, I have been the BIGGEST skeptic about essential oils and still am not entirely sold on all of their touted uses, but this is one area that they have made a noticeable difference in our family.)
How do you help your high-energy kid to wind down for the night???