How To Get Your Kids To Fall Asleep And STAY Asleep At Night

Source: David Castillo

For the past year or so, my daughter has been fussy at bedtime. I would put her and her brother to sleep and while her brother would be asleep almost as soon as his head hit the pillow, she would lie there, awake, for hours.

I’d put her to bed at 7:30 and at 8:30 I’d hear her call out for me. And then at 9. And then at 9:15. And then at 9:30. It was like she was fighting it with everything she had.

Finally when she called for me at 10 p.m., I’d enter the room, cranky and tried of being interrupted from my evening work. “Baby girl, you need to go to sleep now. You’ve been up long enough. You need to cut it out. Close your eyes and relax.”

Eventually, she would fall asleep.

I tried to make sure we had quiet book time before bed, that she wasn’t wound up from playing with her brother. I tried putting on the lullaby station on Pandora and that worked for a little while. But then we’d end up backsliding.

She just turned six and I wasn’t interested in having a kid who had sleeping troubles (lol), so I had to do something. What came to mind?

Massages. I know whenever I give my husband one, he is snoring halfway through. So it couldn’t hurt to try it on my daughter. Here’s how I do it:

    1. Gather their pajamas, diaper/Pull-Up (if they sleep in one) and your body butter/oil of choice. You can use lotion if that’s all you have, but I think using a ton of lotion will dry out the skin.
    2. Spread their blanket out on their bed and have them lie on top of it. You can massage them fully clothed or naked (probably feel more comfortable doing it naked the younger they are!). I place a small blanket/towel over the area I’m NOT massaging at the moment to cover them (like they do at the spa – my daughter thinks that’s so cool).
    3. Warm the body butter/oil in your hands first. (I made my own body butter with the cocoa butter below and olive oil.) I like to talk to my kids about their day and see what’s going on in their little world.
    4. Rub ’em down and get them dressed for bed. I now massage both kids (my son jumped in on it too) and it takes me about 20 minutes.

TIP: Start with their feet and work your way up to their neck and shoulders. Remember they are small and you need to be gentle. I focus on rubbing in the body butter and once that’s done, I move on to another area. I think it’s rubbing my daughter’s feet that does the trick. See if you can find the spot that relaxes your child (maybe it’s the arms, forehead, back or shoulders) and gets them to sleep.

Even if it doesn’t help with their sleep, it could definitely help in other areas. Research has shown that it can help children with diabetes, asthma, eczema and arthritis. Since my daughter has two of those (asthma and eczema), I’m giving it a shot with the hopes that it eases her symptoms, but also gives us a chance to bond and connect at the end of a long day!

Have you tried massage with your kids? Try it out and let me know how it works out!