Regardless of age, having a regular schedule before bed time has proven to help people get the sleep that they need. If you think about the things you do before you go to bed each night such a brushing your teeth, washing your face and perhaps reading a book, these are the same types of things that babies and children pick up on as well.
So, how do you develop a strong night time routine that will ensure your child get the sleep they need? Here are a few tips that I've found helpful from various resources both online and in books:
1. Make Family Sleep A Priority
I feel like there are two types of families. There's the type that quietly tip-toe through the house in the morning, trying to let their children get as much sleep as possible. And then there's the type that poke fun at the family members who sleep in with comments like "Look who decided to join us!?" in the morning. If you make your child feel guilty for getting in their necessary ZZZ's, then they most likely will wake up every day in fear that they will be given a guilt trip. This habit starts very early on, so it's important to set the ground work asap.
2. Set A Regular Bed Time and Wake Time
When your child knows exactly what they can expect, they are more equipped to succeed. When bed time routine always starts at the exact same time, then there is less room for argument.
3. Develop Sleep Associations
The National Sleep Foundation says that the repetitive nature of a parent’s exact actions before bed is very powerful. It doesn’t matter that there’s no massage or books, what matters is that we created a reliable set of steps before bed that cue her brain and body that it’s time to sleep.
Do you have a night time routine that you'd like to share in the comments below?
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