Sleep is necessary for good health, but when kids have a bedtime problem, peaceful dreams may elude the whole family. Then it's time for parents to take charge.
- Step 1: Avoid singing or rocking your kids to sleep, which may prohibit them from learning to fall asleep alone. Instead, offer a cuddly stuffed animal for comfort.
- Step 2: Help an infant sleep by providing a steady flow of white noise from a fan, radio, or other source.
- Step 3: Wait a few minutes to answer if your child calls after you leave their room. This gives them the opportunity to fall asleep without your presence.
- Step 4: Give a reward as positive enforcement when kids follow through with bedtime rules. Now, reward yourself with a relaxing evening and sweet dreams.
- FACT: One less hour of sleep reduces a child's next-day learning capacity.
- Step 5: Make sure the child is comfortable in their own room and bed, and that blankets and pajamas allow for free movement.
- TIP: Eliminate caffeine late in the day and offer a glass of milk before bedtime.
- TIP: Promote exercise during the day so children may release excess energy.
- Step 6: Establish a bedtime routine that includes quiet activities for half an hour before bedtime to help kids unwind.
- TIP: Let kids know when bedtime is approaching so they may mentally adjust.
- Step 7: Avoid feeding kids a large meal near bedtime, which may cause sleep difficulties.
- Step 8: Maintain a daily sleep schedule, including a bedtime and wake-up time, to get kids to develop good sleep patterns.