Following a daily bedtime routine has been proven to help children fall asleep earlier and sleep better and longer through the night. As any parent of little ones knows, this is the dream (pun intended). So what does a solid bedtime routine look like to make this dream a reality?
Here are our five go-tos for making getting ready for bed calming, peaceful, and fun instead of battle royale.
Start with a warm bath to wash off the dirt and grime of the day.
Pop on soft, comfortable pajamas.
Give sheets a quick spritz with our magical sleep spray (recipe below).
Cozy up in bed for a story or two either read by soft lamplight or listened to (we're partial to the Sparkle Sleepytime collection with more than 60 stories featuring a delightful young animal on a gentle adventure. Each ends with the animals snuggling into their burrows, nests, or downy beds, ready to close their eyes and fall asleep).
Last step, turn out the light for a night of restful slumber.
To get you started, here's our simple recipe for a Lavender and Sweet Orange Sleepy Spray that when combined with our other steps above will complete a successful bedtime routine and have your children snoring away like the animals in their bedtime stories.
For anyone even remotely aware of herbal remedies, using lavender as a sleep aid is a no-brainer, but the addition of sweet orange oil makes this blend particularly lovely for children. Most other citrus scents can be overstimulating, but sweet orange is relaxing and soothing. It remniscient of the dreamy whiff of honeysuckle that sometimes gets carried into an open window on a summer evening.
In the recipe below, the essential oils are mixed with alcohol and distilled water. This isn't strictly necessary — you can use plain water — but both are preservatives that will help your spray last longer.
You'll also notice that we've mixed our spray in a tinted glass bottle. Again, this isn't required, but it will help the spray last.
Lastly, toss in a handful of beads to your bottle to make it just a bit more special. Many recipes for kids' pillow or “monster” spray have glitter in them, but we can't quite wrap our heads around spraying sheets with glitter. The beads add a little extra fun without making a mess — a magic spray, indeed!
Lavender and Sweet Orange Magic Sleepy Spray
½ tablespoon vodka, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel
20 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops sweet orange oil
A few beads (optional)
Add the alcohol, essential oils, and beads (if using) to a small, tinted, glass spray bottle.
Fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water. Spritz a few pumps into the air, then add a few more drops of either essential oil, as needed to suit your taste. Shake well before each use, and spritz 2-3 pumps into the air right between story time and lights out.
If you liked this recipe, here are others you might enjoy:
Not yet a subscriber? Try a free trial HERE.
About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.