Calming kids down for bed can be a serious challenge—but one occupational therapist is sharing professional tricks that just might help
What is it about bedtime that makes kids a little extra feral? It’s the end of the day, and you’d think their energy stores should be running out—but instead, they seem to hit the peak of insanity just before bed. Calming them down so they can go to sleep is a challenge many parents dread—so try these four tips and tricks from an occupational therapist who feels your pain.
Hannah Sylcox, COTA shared the tips on her Instagram page, where they quickly went viral.
Tip number one is a burrito role, and it’s just what it sounds like: rolling your kiddo up tightly in a blanket like a burrito.
“This provides deep proprioceptive input into the child’s body,” Sylcox wrote. “This is calming and organizing to their sensory systems.”
Tip number two is one you can actually do while your kids are rolled up in their blanket burritos: pillow squishes. Just grab a pillow and use it to apply gentle pressure all over your kid’s body while they lie on the floor. According to Sylcox, “This activity provides deep pressure which brings your nervous systems into more of a balanced response/balanced state of arousal. This calms and organizes the sensory systems as well.”
For tip number three, you’ll need an exercise ball. Exercise before bed may seem like a no-go, but Sylcox advises parents to gently rock their kids back and forth on the ball, saying the “repetitive, rhythmic rocking and swaying provides calming vestibular input to the nervous system, helping children relax.”
And finally, tip number four is a simple one: throw your child’s blanket in the dryer to get it nice and cozy and warm just before bed.
“The warmth from their sleeping blankets signals bedtime to them and puts their minds in a calm and relaxed state,” Sylcox wrote.
Is it really that easy? Next bedtime, try these tips out, and see how much they calm down your kids.