By: Lillie Sutton, B.S.
Sleep battles can be one of the biggest challenges of parenthood. Developing a bedtime routine is beneficial for children. It can help your child to sleep well and be well rested for the next day.
Here is an example of how to develop a healthy routine.
- Make bedtime age appropriate, and as consistent as possible. Having a set time every day, will help the child adjust more quickly to the routine-as they age, the time can shift. Some children fall asleep late, and you may want to move their bedtime to a more suitable time. It is best to start the routine at the normal time they fall asleep for the first few weeks, then you can gradually shift the time to something more appropriate.
- Give the child a warning just before bedtime. This lets them know the day is winding down and they now have a few more minutes to play until they need to prepare for bed.
- Give your child a warm bath. This can calm them and help them relax for bedtime
- Get them dressed for bed. Help them choose comfortable clothing to sleep in, something that makes them happy and relaxed
- Read a story. This can be comforting to your child and help them to relax and spend time with their parents before falling asleep
- Give the child a security object. A security object like a stuffed animal or blanket can provide your toddler or preschooler with comfort while falling asleep and throughout the night if they wake up.
- Keep the last “goodnight” short. Say goodnight when it’s time for you to leave the room. This lets the child know you are serious about bedtime. Understand that a little crying can be okay at first if they are setting down for sleep. It is okay to let the child settle down on their own for a few minutes.
Bedtime routines are most beneficial if the hour before bedtime is reserved for them. This hour of bath time, getting ready, and story time with their parents will help them to calm down from the stress of the day. It will also help you relax! The atmosphere needs to be calm and positive for the child, so that they can have a good night’s rest
Check out this quick guide to get a sense of how much sleep your kid needs. And keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits all solution—each child is different.
- Newborns (up to three months): 14 to 17 hours
- Infants (four to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours (including naps)
- Toddlers (one to two): 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
- Preschoolers (three to five): 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
- School-age (six to 13): 9 to 11 hours
- Tweens and Teens (14 to 17): 8 to 10 hours”
Some information derived from– https://www.sleep.org/articles/bedtimes-for-kids/,
Parents.com, Verywellfamily.com, Tuck.com