There are few things more heart-warming than sharing a story with your child. But why are bedtime stories such an age-old sleeping aid and how exactly do they help your little one drift off into a perfect slumber?
1: Stories help to establish a routine
One of the main reasons why bedtime stories are so widely encouraged is that they offer an opportunity to form a bedtime routine. Both parents and children lead extremely busy lives with many responsibilities –such as work, household chores, cooking and other activities – that have to be taken care of throughout the day. When the evening sets in and the day is coming to an end, young children can be comforted by the fact that you get to spend some quality time together. Regularly sharing stories with your child before bedtime will help them to look forward to going to bed as well as relax and unwind after they day’s activities.
2: Stories encouraging bonding
Spending quality time with your child as they end their day is a great way to help build a trusting bond between you. Reading a story to your little one each evening will help your child feel reassured from the interrupted time you spend together. Many infants experience separation anxiety at night time so it’s important that you provide a secure, calm and positive environment in which for them to fall asleep. Getting your child’s favourite toys involved in story time – such as their familiar baby comforter or teddy bear – will further help them to feel relaxed and reassured as they go to bed.
For toddlers, telling personal stories that involve them and the family can help them to develop a sense of belonging, which in turn aids self-esteem and confidence as they fall asleep.
3: Stories help your child to focus
From the phone ringing as you’re settling your child for their midday nap to the flowers on your coffee table that they just can’t take their eyes off – the days bring many distractions for your little one. Bed time stories, on the other hand, are a perfect way to shut out all other stimulants and allow your child to become focused on one quiet activity.
To encourage your child to relax and unwind even more, make sure all nursery/ bedroom toys and clutter are put away before you begin reading. The more your child focuses on the story you’re sharing, the more they will relax and unwind.