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Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven Tips for Getting Your Kids to Sleep Better

Sleeping on the moon                

Getting children to bed on time is not only a job of its own; it's an art. When children are struggling to get to sleep, it is good to try the following: 

  1. Have a special night ritual- This creates a desire to go to sleep. Make sure that this ritual gets the child nice and drowsy. This could be a bedtime story, or a night time song. Make the idea of going to sleep enjoyable. 
  2. Wake up bright and early- It's found that if children wake up between 5:30-7:00 am, children are more likely to sleep better at night. Maybe even a nap during the day..... ;) but some wake up even earlier than in that time frame. If this is your child you can cover the windows to block out the morning lights. Another thing that could help is buying a special clock to let the child know when it is time to get up. 
  3. Early bedtime- Have a set bedtime and a special day bedtime set. Then the child knows what time it need to go to bed. Depending on the age of your child there are suggested set bed times. Parents should expect preschoolers to sleep 11-13 hours per night and not expect most to nap after the age of five. Preschoolers should go to bed around 8 pm. Ages 6-10 bedtime should be between 9-10 pm. As for the ages 11-18, that is your decision, but they should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep per night. 
  4. You know your child- In result you can anticipate what the child may ask for, such as a drink, bathroom, lots of hugs and kisses, etc. If the child continues to ask for your love and attention, make some ground rules with consequences or just ignore their requests. 
  5. Set a schedule-  Be consistent, brush teeth, put on pajamas, read a book, tuck in to bed every night before going to sleep. Those sorts of things. when children have a set schedule they are able to prepare themselves to go to sleep. 
  6. If the child is having a hard time self-soothing- Especially if he or she is waking up late at night and alone. It is suggested to give the child a special object such as a blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal to snuggle with to go do bed during the bed time routine to feel safe and help themselves sleep better. If they are not the only child I would suggest to have them share rooms. Having another sibling in the room will bring a sense of safety
  7. Is the child distracted?-  Turn off all electronics 60 minutes before bedtime. leave the room slowly if they need you. For instance: Day one till three, sit by the child's bed or crib until they fall asleep. Day four till six, move the chair to the middle of the room. Day seven till nine, move the chair to the door way. Day eleven till twelve, move the chair outside the doorway. This is a nice slow transition and easy to get used to. Be sure to make the transition when there is little for the child to stress about. such as potty training, new school, or something unexpected. 
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