Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Establishing a Bedtime Routine for your Child

If you're like the vast majority of parents of little kids, you probably have come to be accustomed to lack of sleep at night. Once you have survived the infant period with victory, you would think that the early childhood years would present moms and dads with a great deal more of rest. However, once children learn the art of manipulating in order to get their way, they come up with tactics for evading going to bed.

Little ones need to have adequate rest just as much as their parents; it's essential to their health and well-being and it also makes them more pleasant to be with. When little kids are tired they become irritable and difficult to reason with. What are parents to do when their sweet angel transforms into an absolute ogre once evening comes about?

The following suggestions may very well help make night time run more smoothly in your household:

One of the most important steps that parents can take in their mission to get their children to sleep at night is establishing a daily bedtime routine.

First and foremost, it is absolutely crucial that you remain consistent. No matter what routine you start for your precious angel at bedtime, ensure that the ritual is the same every single night. Kids thrive on routine, and having the same routine each night will help get them in the mood to go to sleep.

Bath-time should be a regular part of your son's or daughter's routine before going to bed each night. Warm baths are soothing and help to not only make them feel nice and clean, but relaxed and serene and ready to go to sleep.

The majority of parents read a story to their children at bedtime, and for good reason, it's a great time for fostering special bonding between children and moms and dads, little ones learn and they settle down.

More and more children now have TV’s in their rooms which is very detrimental to their health and well-being. A bedroom should be a place for rest. Not to mention that research shows a connection between obesity and lower test grades in kids who have television sets in their bedrooms and the fact that you will not know what they are watching. Instead of a television, opt for having soft, soothing music play in your child's bedroom if needed.

Safety bedrails should be installed to help prevent your child from falling out of bed. They're really easy to install these days and some fold down to make climbing in and out of bed easier.

Reassure your children that you will check on them throughout the night.

If your child does get out of her bed after being asleep, put her back into her bed without saying anything to her, this way she knows that you mean business. Keep repeating this and eventually she will stay put in her own bed.

Toddlers aged 1-3 years old require 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Preschool children ages 3-5 years old require 11-13 hours and school-aged children ages 5-12 require 10-11 hours of sleep per night.

Set up a chart to keep a record of your child's bedtime progress and mark his results with reward stickers.

Whatever approaches or tactics you decide on for establishing a bedtime routine for your child, always conclude the routine with your child in his or her own bed. He will fully understand what's expected and will soon be sleeping through the night without difficulty.

Bonnie Lim is the founder of A Kid Place. Check out her blog at blog.akidplace.com as well as her online store at www.akidplace.com.

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