Did you know that babies sleep better when they are happy? I know this through numerous experiences with my younger sister (when she was tiny and crawled on all fours) and my sundry nephews and nieces. Even my own mother keeps sharing some of my stories from when I was a baby.
My first hand experiences with babies have made me aware of interesting and useful activities in which mothers engage their babies. These bedtime rituals are very special and help in strengthening the bond between a mother and her child. Many of these bedtime rituals also help the baby have a good night's sleep.
Off the top of my head, some fun bedtime rituals for little ones are:-
- Talking to them : Your baby need not understand anything you say. The very act of spending quality time with your child will go a long way in giving her a lot of contentment. A satisfied mind stays happy and has no trouble falling asleep at night. I will always make sure I talk to my baby and make her cackle with laughter for a few minutes before I tuck her in.
- Tucking them in : Now this is a ritual my father would religiously follow until we went to college. And this is a very powerful way of forging your relationship and creating a strong bond of trust and love. It's a very simple gesture. You can just pull the blanket over your son or help him set up the mosquito net. (We had those nets until a few years ago. I suppose, every Bengali family swears by these mosquito nets.)
- Reading them a story : I am an avid reader of novels and an aspiring author myself. Every child in my home will have the privilege of listening to a bedtime story. Stories with happy endings help your child feel better and they naturally have happy dreams. Avoid scary or negative stories around the night time.
- Milk and cookies : Quite a few mothers I know give a glass of warm milk to their toddler before they hit the sack. Milk has a calming effect on the mind and body and keeps the child satiated throughout the night. This ensures you don't have babies waking up in the middle of the night due to hunger. If your child is not fond of milk, serve an attractive chocolate chip cookie that she can dunk in her glass full of milk and enjoy the ritual.
Research says that the soothing compositions of Beethoven are very beneficial to children. The unique frequencies of the soundwaves make babies intelligent too. Such compositions help even when your baby is still in the womb. The pleasing music also helps put babies to sleep.
An important thing to remember here is that children retain in their dreams the last thing they do before they sleep. This is why a good bedtime ritual goes a long way in the growth and rest of your young one. The better your kids sleep, the better will be their concentration and physical and mental development!