Bedtime for children can be hard for them and us especially when we tired ourselves and then the loop begins…been there/are there I truly get it.
With changes of year groups/schools/camps/exams etc the general worries and wobbles they maybe going through as night time looms it can make it harder for them to settle to sleep (my little one is definitely feeling it)
Rituals are wonderful to help with bedtime as they are soothing, reassuring and something to look forward to. Could be a little bath pamper, dim light, essential oils like lavender, camomile and just reassurance it will pass. Smells like lavender if they keep using at bedtime when they feel calm it will start to make some association in their mind, soft blanket again soothing, touching when calm can create another anchor. Key with anchors is to create when calm so maybe have the lavender in background when in bath, when reading just doing it’s thing.
Another thing you could try is visualisations. As we know their imagination like ours is so powerful and we can imagine gorgeous stories as well as scary stories.
A little thing I used to do with my daughter before I trained as a hypnotherapist was a little visualisation with her, just didn’t realise at the time it was what I was doing.
As they lie in bed all snuggled just get them to place a hand or teddy on their tummy. As they inhale tummy rises…exhale tummy/teddy falls keep going for as long as they are happy. May feel weird to start with that’s cool it’s normal or they may love it and have a cheeky giggle . Then ask them to close their eyes and imagine a box A box that is exactly as they want it to be in their mind. As big/small/pretty whatever it’s their box just want it to be however they picture it. Next guide them to imagine putting any little worries they have in that box (of course any big worry stuff needs addressing and your parenting judgment of course - that goes without saying I know my lovely but duty of care is most important to me). They aren’t ignoring them or pretending they aren’t there they just aren’t needed at the moment and they can be safely tucked in there. Then guide them to imagine closing the box. Tying a gorgeous ribbon over the box (again whatever they want is perfect)
Then imagine they are at a beautiful beach, one they been to or one purely in their imagination
With you beside them in their imagination they take their box with the worries to the sea and place in gently in the water
They then watch as the box floats away in the water it’s just gently rising and falling with the waves.
Just that action takes some control for them. It’s fear of thinking we have no control and they consume us sometimes. By taking action but in a kind soothing way it dials down the worries and puts them somewhere safe where they are in control.
My daughter used to say to me her worries and then “ mummy can we put it in the box and watch it go” and it helped so much so I just wanted to share with you
Hope this is helpful
Hope your babies sleep well tonight as do you
Much love, Julie