We all have those nights. We have some major tasks planned and we really, really, really need our kids to go to sleep — fast.
Though it’s not an every night thing, some nights need a little bit more of planning and sneakiness to get the kids to sleep so you can get some extra things done, make an important phone call or even enjoy a stay-at-home date with your husband. Whatever the case, I am here to divulge my extra sneaky tricks that I pull out for those specific times when I need the munchkins to enter slumberland — fast!
Let me add a disclaimer here. Most nights I am cuddling with my kiddos, enjoying telling bedtime stories and even lying in their room until most of my pint-sized treasures are fast asleep. I do not use these tactics nightly, only when special projects, tasks and needs come up. Since I don’t do them very often, they work well.
If you are trying to get your kids to go to sleep fast every single night, these may not work so well for you. I would suggest starting and sticking with a routine first, then keeping these ideas on the back burner for special circumstances that arise — planned and unplanned.
So, if you are ever in the need for some quiet, extra time at night — and I know you will be in the near future — then try out these sneaky tips that work well for our family! My kids are ages 12 all the way down to three.
Sneaky Tips to Get Your Kids to go to Sleep Fast
- Have a contest. This is my most effective, sneaky tip. I tell all the kids that mommy is going to listen and watch to see which child is the quietest. They do not have to be the first one asleep, they just have to have their eyes closed, lie very still and not make any noise. I do not pick the one who goes to sleep the fastest. That tends to add a level of stress to the kids that relly want to win. Anyone can win if they just follow the rules. I stay in the room for the first five minutes or so then leave and return quietly to pick a winner. I let the kids know in the morning who won. Here are some prizes I have given out:
- Keep the kids physically active during the day. On major project nights, I like to spend a lot of time with the kids outside during the day. We have water fights, wash the car, race, roller blade etc. Anything to burn up lots of energy after school and chores are done. I try to keep the pace going all the way until bedtime. Having such a full day helps the kids look forward to a soft bed and restful night. After lying in their bed for 15 minutes or so, they are normally fast asleep.
extra 30 minutes stay up the next evening
special snack with mom and dad
30 minutes on the computer or a special movie
small toy purchased just for them
HALO Big Kids SleepSack Micro Fleece Wearable Blanket, Blue, 2-3TBig Enough for a Bed (Sesame Street)Toddler Stay-In-Bed Light Clock, Teaches Child When Ok-to Wake Up +100 Songs for Kids Sleep – Deep Sleeping Music for Toddlers
My kids actually love mom to switch things up a bit and play extra outside or do a contest. Everyone wins in these situations. Kids are happy and mom and dad can get some extra work done. But, again this is something that is not routine, or even nightly. It’s something that we use when we are in a crunch for time.
Hope these sneaky tips help your family! Do you have any tips to help kids get to sleep fast? Share them with us in the comments!