Month: November 2021

Bedtime routine

Bedtime Routines

Bedtime routines are essential for getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night. Lack of sleep within children can disrupt the important cycles their bodies go through to help with development, attention and so much more. Creating a bedtime routine doesn’t have to be difficult, just utilize these tips and your child will be snoozing in no time.  


Whichever tip you decide to implement, the most important is consistency. Providing a predictable bedtime routine that is consistent allows your child to understand the sequence of events that lead up to the point of going to sleep. Utilizing verbal reminders, prompts or a visual schedule of the tasks that need to be completed before bed, help with active engagement as well as relieving anxiety. 


Calm Down Time

Relaxation is an important step in falling asleep. Provide a time before bed where your child is away from alerting stimuli like a TV, iPad, or phone screen. Reading books, picking up toys, or listening to calming music is much more appropriate for a bedtime routine. 



Meditation is a great way to clear the mind to decrease anxiety before going to sleep. Here are some examples to implement within your bedtime routine:

  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Guided imagery


Environmental Changes

Changes to your child’s sleep environment is an easy and great way to make your child comfortable enough to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  • Weighted blanket/compression sheets: Utilizing a weighted blanket or compression sheets can provide the proprioceptive input children crave as they sleep. This simple change can decrease anxiety and provide a calming effect to better facilitate a good night’s sleep. 
  • Light level: Utilize curtains to block out light. A dark room helps the body recognize that it is time to sleep.
  • White noise: Static noise can block out other sounds within the environment that may be disruptive.
  • Soothing Scents: Scents like lavender or other calming smells can help relax your child before bedtime. 


If your child has difficulty following a bedtime routine or has continued trouble falling asleep, please do not hesitate to contact the office at BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy to receive a free occupational therapy screening

Written by Kiersten Robertson, MOT, OTR/L


Thriving, Not Just Surviving, The Holidays

During this time of the year, a lot is going on so it is natural for kids to be overwhelmed and act out! If you plan on having a family gathering that involves new smells, loud voices, or too many sights; try some of these tips to help your kiddo out.


Social Stories

Reading a social story about what will happen during your next holiday event is a great way to prepare your child. 

  • You can make the social story together! Have your child color in pictures or have them make their own to go along with the story. 


Give Them a Job

Having a specific job during the holiday season can help make your child feel needed or important. Some ideas include: 

  • Setting the table
  • Helping with the cooking process for a dish or two
  • Cleaning up (bring dishes to the sink, dry dishes or even help wash)
  • Bring used napkins and dish cloths to the laundry room
  • Put away the dishes
  • Write down what family members want for dessert 


Calming Space

Provide a quiet space for your child to go when upset or overwhelmed. Go over calming strategies to use when in your calming space. 

  • Build a blanket fort together or use a tent as a place to go.
  • Put calming items inside like a stuffed animal, calming music, putty, a fidget, some coloring supplies, or any other favorite calming tools
  • Explain to your child that this is a place to go if you need to calm your body, but after you are calm you can come back out. 


Practice Beforehand

Practice, practice, practice! Talk about the different strategies provided or come up with your own before the event and leading up to it! Have your child practice smelling or trying the new foods that will be made for the gathering, make this fun-they can sniff it, lick it, eat it or even play with it! Try coming up with topics to talk about at the table, this can help with attention and social interaction skills.  

Holiday gatherings can be overwhelming but thankfully there are tools to help guide you through to make this experience enjoyable for all! If you still have challenges after trying some of these strategies, contact the office at BDI Playhouse Children’s Therapy to receive a free screen, or check the website at https://bdiplayhouse.com/free-screenings/


Written By Kiersten Robertson, MOT, OTR/L