Imaginary monsters and a fear of the dark: Why falling asleep sometimes isn't as easy as it sounds for children
Every child is different
That’s easy to say, but it doesn’t help parents cope with challenging situations, for example getting their child off to sleep. While for some children bedtime is a smooth and structured process, for other children it’s a test of patience for the parents. How nice would it be if there was a universal solution for children getting to sleep? Unfortunately, there’s no such thing. After all: every child is different.
A familiar atmosphere creates security
But there are some things that help a lot of children get to sleep and sleep through more easily. For example, it’s important to create a snug and secure atmosphere in the children’s room, one that is conducive to sleep, e.g. with atmospheric lighting from a night light or plug-in nightlight that projects calming dream-like images onto the ceiling. Soft, familiar melodies from musical boxes or mobiles also make sure that the little ones can calm down more easily and relax. This lays a good foundation for a shared evening bedtime ritual that creates a feeling of familiarity and security between the children and the parents. The details of this ritual – whether reading a story aloud, looking at a picture book together or cuddling on the couch – are very individual, and vary greatly from child to child, and from family to family.
We have put together some specific tips on how to create a snug and secure atmosphere in the evening and make it easier for children to fall asleep.
Little Mali also knows what it’s like to be afraid of the dark and is able to answer your child’s questions on evil dream monsters.
We have designed the ultimate magic weapon to banish these nasty troublemakers – a DIY anti-monster spray!
Advice and tricks for getting kids to sleep
Emergency measures when bedtime seems to be never-ending:
- Reflecting on the day’s events with your child creates a positive mood. If there have been arguments among the siblings, or if your child has received a scolding, closure can be achieved and the day brought to a peaceful end.
- The presence of a favorite cuddly toy provides comfort and ensures that the child does not feel alone at night.
- Reading aloud, ideally as a regular routine, gets your child to listen quietly and feel naturally sleepy. Many children like to choose the same books for this bedtime ritual and to fall asleep to the adventures of familiar fictional characters.
- Generous cuddling gives children the sense of security they crave in the evening. Physical proximity is very important to a child in overcoming anxiety and feeling completely secure.
- Patience, patience, patience! Even though parents have many things on their mind that they want to do as soon as their offspring are in the Land of Nod, the bedtime routine simply cannot be rushed. It may be that sleep comes very quickly, yet especially when the day has been exciting, children will inevitably need much more time to fall asleep.
Mali asks the question of the month: What's the best way to scare off monsters?
- an empty, clean spray bottle without label
- glue stick
- printable template (either to color in yourself or already finished)
- pencils to color in the template
1. download the finished/color-in template
2. trim the template down to suit the size of the spray bottle
3. glue template on the bottle
4. label the bottle if required
6. fill the spray bottle with water
7. spray the anti-monster spray in the children's room if little ones are scared of monsters