It’s one thing to have been quarantined for past month (while you attempt to work full-time) with your kids at home. It’s another thing entirely to be home all day, every day, and then have bedtime struggles – especially at this time of year, when the sun is out until after 8pm.
My youngest child is nearly three, and I have to be honest – we still don’t have night time sleep figured out. Sometimes my kids sleep all night, but that is a rare occurrence. I can’t really speak for little boys, but our three girls? If two out of three aren’t already sleeping when I leave their (shared) room, you can bet they’ll be up for hours; playing and giggling until someone, inevitably, starts to cry.
I love my kids so much, but I also really love their bedtime. When my kids are in bed, it’s my chance to regroup. I can wash the dishes and fold laundry, or leave the house a mess and have a glass of wine with my husband. If my kids are awake while I’m trying to relax, guess what: I can’t relax.
Last year, when we were trying to get our middle daughter to sleep in her “big girl” bed, I discovered the world of children’s sleep apps.
I know the rules about screen time and though sleep apps may use your phone or tablet,your kids don’t watch them. They listen. And, I have to say, having been using a specific sleep app for over a year, now – they help. Here are a few things I do to get my kids ready for sleep:
Here are some of the apps getting good reviews right now:
Headspace for Kids
I tried meditating with my six-year-old and she fidgeted the whole time; clearly bored out of her mind. Headspace has gotten excellent reviews for its take on adult meditation, but their kid’s app is helpful as well – they approach children’s meditation and sleep with a healthy dose of realism. It’s not cheap, though, coming in at €12.99 per month (it’s down to €8.00 per month if you buy an annual subscription).
Moshi Sleep and Mindfulness
Using “sleep stories” Moshi claims to help your child sleep independently through its soothing sounds. Some stories are narrated by celebrities, like Patrick Stewart and Goldie Hawn. They all centre on “moshlings” – cute, cuddly creatures who love to snuggle down and sleep. A premium account, which unlocks all of the sleep stories and playlists, is €33.99 per year and can be used on three different devices (you can access certain sleep stories for free, though).
This one is for babies and toddlers. It allows you to set soothing sounds, lullabies, nursery rhymes and other sleep-friendly tracks to help your child settle. You can include a video and arrange to keep them going on a loop, if you like. This is only available for Iphone users (IOS) and costs €2.29 to purchase.