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Sleepovers & Bedtime

Bedtime Routines Create Healthy Habits

If you are like most adults, you have some sort of routine that you go through before going to bed. It may include such things as doing a little reading to relax, brushing your teeth, and even checking to make sure all the doors are locked. Most adults have a bedtime routine, and it's a really good idea for kids to have them, as well.

Why Bedtime Routines

When children have an established bedtime routine, it helps to create a smoother transition from evening into nighttime. Sleep routines give children a chance to expect and predict what is going to happen next, and to prepare for it, so they can finish what they are doing. Many parents find that successfully creating sleep routines that last requires a reminder to the child of what those routines are. The best way to go about doing that is through the use of one of our charts, so that everything that needs to be done can be listed and followed, as the evening goes on.

Creating the Bedtime Routine

What you add to your sleep routine depends on personal preferences. For example, some people like to give their kids a bath each night before bed, while others do the bathing in the morning. Here are some of the things you may want to consider adding to your sleep routine:

  • Choose a bedtime that is appropriate for your child. Typically, in the 6-9 age range, kids need anywhere from 9-12 hours of sleep per night. Depending on how much your child needs, designate a bedtime that allows for that amount of sleep, and then be consistent with it, even on the weekends.
  • A pajama and hygiene routine that includes getting changed, putting clothes where they belong, brushing and flossing teeth, etc.
  • Before it's time to start the nightly hygiene or pajama routine, give a warning. Children do much better when they are given a few minutes to prepare for what is about to happen.
  • After doing the above things, it is time to get the kids into bed. Some parents opt to make reading a book part of their routine, as well as hugs and kisses.
  • If you have a morning or school routine that includes anything that needs to be done the previous night, such as setting out school clothes or putting backpacks by the door, add those to your nighttime or sleep routine.

Sleeping Soundly

Once kids learn that there is a bedtime routine, and that it will consistently be followed, they will begin to develop healthy habits. And you will find that easing them into the sleep routine becomes easier and easier!