We all know that real happiness for a parent, is nothing more than a child that falls easily asleep, and stays a sleep all night! And so once the baby phase have passed, I thought that the sleep issues are over. But my both daughters have very vivid imagination, which is amazing during their play time, as they can amuse themselves for hours! But when it’s bedtime, and they can’t fall asleep because they’re scared of nightmares, or they wake up in tears, than it’s rather heartbreaking.
That’s why I’ve been trying for months to find a perfect solution to this problem, and here’s what I came up with:
1. Bedtime routine that involves talking about their day
Small kids need routine to feel secure, and even more so, kids who tend to have nightmares. So make sure your child goes to sleep at the same time every night, and that they follow at least two steps of routine before falling asleep ( like bath, then potty, then story time and cuddle, or potty, washing teeth with mom, story and cuddle) Make sure your child knows what are the steps, and what will happen next.
After you finished their bedtime routine, and once your kid is ready to fall asleep, talk about their day. Ask them what they liked the most and what they liked the least. And if there was something that surprised them or scared.
That’s the opportunity for them to talk about any scary and surprising events of the day. And talking about anything that provoked strong emotions, will help your child deal with it better, and therefore avoid nightmares!
3. Introduce magical objects.
Young kids under six/seven years of age, don’t think with the same logic as adults, which is called magical thinking. (And thanks to that, they can feel reassured with mommy kisses when they’re hurt!)
And that’s why I got a white plush unicorn for my daughters room, and introduced it as a Night Guardian of Dreams! Lili and Rose love it and are convinced now that bad dreams can’t get to them anymore because of Clara, the Night Guardian (yes the unicorn real name is Clara).
I got it from Brooklyns Room, a Canadian based kids accessory boutique ( where you can choose among other animals like flamingos and lions) It hangs upon my daughters beds, and it’s as soft and fluffy as at can get, while being calming and reassuring in their eyes! Honestly it’s one of the best decorating decisions I made to date!
Also, when I ask them with which little animal they wan’t to be sleeping and dreaming sweet dreams, there seem to be some that have more “magical powers” then others. So for example, lately the most magical of all is this little tooth pillow, and they are both taking turns for sleeping with it!
Let them know that even if they would end up having a nightmare, they are not alone, and that they are safe. Tell them that they can always come and cuddle you (or call you), and promise to lave that small light on. Tell them it happens to you too, and tell them how you deal with it. ( Do you get up to drink water, do you turn around and cuddle?). Let them know it’s normal and that it will pass.
So know, before falling asleep Lili will always point on the Clara the unicorn and reassure Rose that it will protect them! And while I’m always there for them, I’m happy to see that they feel safer and that they sleep better too.
Disclosure: This article was brought to you by Brooklyns Room, all opinions remain my own!