Children need between 9-10 hours of sleep each night to grow and develop as they should. Studies show that children who are sleep deprived are more likely to become over-weight later in life. Additionally, napping throughout the day is not an adequate replacement of lost hours during the night. This is due to differences in quality of sleep from night to day. Short naps during the day do not provide the depth and restoration that children need and would otherwise get during the night. Establishing a reliable bedtime routine at a consistent time each night will ensure that they are getting to sleep each night and allowing for the rest their bodies need. Bedtime can also be a daily opportunity to continue building a nurturing and loving relationship with your child. Use this
opportunity to review the day and talk about important things between you and your child. When your kids know that bedtime is a time for undivided attention, the stage for real and intimate learning and bonding may be created. However, the downside of this intimacy is the inability to let go of it and to want more. It is important for parents to set limitations, make children aware of them and enforce them. The most important aspect of a successful bedtime routine is repetition and structure. These two elements help kids feel safe. Sporadically following this routine creates for confusion. Being consistent with your bedtime message allows children to feel safe and build confidence in their world. Below are some do's and dont's of bedtime routines.
|Allow a night light. Impose consequences for refusal to sleep. Leave the room while your child is still awake. Make reading together a part of the bedtime routine. Demonstrate consistency. Use the same routine each night.||Make television a part of the bedtime routine. Have caffeinated drinks with dinner. Allow interruptions to the bedtime routine. Lie down together or rock your child to sleep. Hold children who fight bedtime.|