"My Child is Ready for Sleep After..."

ADDitude readers share what helps their kids feel ready for a night of restful sleep.

bubble bath, adhd child, hygiene, bedtime

Supper, bath, story time, and back tickling.

~Sandra, South Africa~

ADDitude asked: What puts your child in the mood for sleep?

Holding my son in front of a blank wall to reduce stimulation always worked when he was a baby. Now that he has grown up, I have him do a few yoga poses and chill. -An ADDitude Reader

Classical music and a repetitive video, like an animated ball bouncing across a television or computer screen. -John, Oklahoma

A warm glass of milk and a nice, gentle back massage. -An ADDitude Reader

I dim the lights in my twin daughters' room, rock them in the rocking chair, read them a story, sing to them a bit, and then put on a special CD. They know that, when the CD starts, it is time for sleep. -Dena, North Carolina

Having a ritual: nighttime medicine, vitamin, and warm milk (it has sleep-inducing qualities), kisses, and tuck-ins. -Julia, Missouri

Since my daughter was a baby, I have played the same bedtime music and used vanilla-lavender scented lotion. It helps her know that it's time for sleep. -Leslie, Illinois

I have my son take a hot bath or shower before bed, then read to himself. -Jane, New York

Keep kids on a tight schedule, so they know what to expect and when. Don't give in because you're worn out and allow your child to take a long nap. I have paid the price for that. -An ADDitude Reader

My ADHD/ODD daughter takes 5 mg. of melatonin before bed. It calms her down in 45 minutes and helps her sleep soundly through the night. -Traci, Ohio

Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book helps. When that doesn't work, I try to figure out what is keeping him up -- an obsession. Other times, I offer him a warm hug and a teddy. -Sue, New York

I've tried it all. The best sleep-inducing technique is a regular routine. -Erin, Pennsylvania

We do "picture walks." My daughters lay their heads on my chest while I make up a story and move my fingers over their heads. My girls say that "walking on their heads" enables them to see the pictures more clearly and gives them better dreams. -Stephanie, Ohio

I play a CD of Christmas songs and sit on my son's bed. I ask him about his day. It gives him the opportunity to get everything out. When he is done, he falls asleep. -Angela, Iowa

We talk about my son's day. We put all the good things on an imaginary disk and file it away in his memory bank. I ask him to delete the bad things. -Donna, Ohio

Children--especially those with ADHD--do best when they have predictable routines to follow. Claim your free digital copy of A Routine That Works for an example. Plus, get email updates with more great ADHD parenting tips.

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This article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of ADDitude.
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