Last night I read a very sad post from a desperate grandmother who said her husband (Grandpa) had gone to bed at 7.30 pm and left her alone to get the grandchildren into bed and asleep.
At 9.30pm, she wrote that the grandchildren were finally asleep. She was frazzled, to say the least. Have you had that experience?
Perhaps most grandies can nod in agreement. The grandchildren are in a strange environment; their parents are absent; everything is different; their cuddle blanket was left behind at home in their cot – the reasons are endless.
Prepare for bed by talking about going to bed. Ask your son or daughter for one of their worn unwashed T-shirts which you can put in the bed, so baby has a familiar smell. Follow the same routine by playing music such as When You Wish Upon a Star to signal that bedtime is next.
Soothing rhythms and melodies aid sleep
That old time favourite Rock a Bye Baby is no myth. Small children love a lullaby. There’s nothing sweeter to their little ears than Grandie’s singing a gentle tune to lull them to sleep. Along with the singing goes the rhythmic hand pat on their little derriere.
Now if you’re like me and your singing voice leaves a lot to be desired, you can download lots of lullabies onto your iPhone and use that as a prompt. You can use it as your personal karaoke lullaby machine.
One of my favourites is YouTube 6 hours of relaxing lullabies.
Sleep loves sugar-FREE foods
No sugary treats at least 2 hours before bedtime is one simple rule that a lot of grandies do not know. Forget about that dessert treat after they eat their veggies. Early tomorrow morning is the best time for sweet treats.
If you must give them sweets, preferably let them eat sugarless custards, yoghurts or a tiny serve of raw fruit. In fact, it’s best to avoid all kinds of foods containing sugar, the enemy of good health.
Training those young taste buds towards a savoury diet is one of the best things you can do for your grandchild. Think how much they will save from not having to visit the dentist.
Create a relaxing sleep-inducing environment
Turn off all the overhead lights. Invest in a few soft night lights and a string of fairy lights to give the feel of a twinkly starry night sky. Stick some luminescent stars on the ceiling of the bedroom where you put your grandkids to bed.
Decorate your grandchildren’s bed
Make going to bed a special treat for your grandchildren. Buy some good quality bed linen and bedcover which you will use only for them. Tell them how special it is and make up some fantasy about why and how you chose that design to suit their personality. Even if they can’t talk, they will understand your meaning and intention.
Prepare for bed by talking about going to bed. Ask your son or daughter for one of their worn unwashed T-shirts which you can put in the bed, so baby has a familiar smell.
Finally, and most importantly, read them a story. Be sure to choose one with some gently soothing images and ideas. There are many lovely stories such as I love You to the Moon and back.
Avoid those Grimm Brothers horror stories. See my Blog about BOOKS. Remember that if you are relaxed, your grandchildren will be, too.