The thought of having to remove their hearing equipment, whether it is hearing aids or a cochlear implant can be a daunting thought. I am one of those mums who believes in routine. I’m not terribly strict with it, but I believe children thrive with a bit of structure to their day. This is why we have put a particular routine in place to help our little boy Harry, who is profoundly deaf without his cochlear implants, feel safe and comfortable when it comes to going to sleep.
Here are my tips for establishing a bedtime routine for deaf children:
After dinner we tend to have some time downstairs to just have a cuddle in front of the TV where it is nice and quiet compared to our usually jam packed noisy days. I think this quiet time helps ease Harry into the silence of his night time without his cochlear implants on and just generally calms him down before bed.
I know some toddlers are persistent on having 2 or 3 books read to them every night, but after a long, tiring day of listening, Harry is quite happy to have quite a short book read to him (usually his Thomas & Friends book where he has to find different objects on the page.)
Children with a hearing loss can often become over stimulated compared to other little ones so we try to keep bedtime reading short and sweet.
This is quite a new addition to our bedtime routine. I let Harry pick one song to sing (he always picks ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’) and we sing and sign it quietly together while I tuck him in.
This part of the routine is quite important as we would usually take Harry’s cochlear implants off. We make a bit of a fuss about it and Harry says goodnight to his “magic ears” and gives them a kiss. Sometimes he even says “see you tomorrow”!
I think it is quite important to get children into the routine of removing their hearing aids or cochlear implants at night, to give their ears a rest, but also so they can be cleaned and recharged for the next day.
Having a night light isn’t out of the ordinary for any toddler, but perhaps it is especially important for a deaf child because of their lack of hearing. Harry likes the reassurance of that small light, which allows him to feel safe even without his cochlear implants on.
We have been using this bed time routine for a really long time now and so far we haven’t had any issues with Harry not wanting to remove his cochlear implants or being scared to not be able to hear and go to sleep.
I would love to hear if you have a special any special routines throughout your day with your deaf child! Do you have any other tips for establishing a bedtime routine for deaf children? Please let me know in the comments below!