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Sleepovers & Bedtime

Routines for Children and Bedtime

For many families, bedtime is filled with kicking and screaming. Kids will try just about anything to avoid going to sleep. Even if they are barely able to keep their eyes open, many kids still fight bedtime. Routines are a great way to help your child get to sleep and have fun and special bonding time together.

Having a bedtime routine for your child is important for several reasons:

  • Kids behave better when they understand what's expected of them. Maintaining a set bedtime every night takes the guesswork out of bedtime.
  • Kids need at least eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Kids that are overtired may be cranky and uncooperative
  • Kids with bedtimes sleep better. They fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly, and stay asleep longer.
  • Set bedtimes eliminate battles.

Bedtime routines aren't always easy to establish, especially if your child isn't used to them. Do yourself, and your child, a favor. Establish a structured bedtime routine as early as possible. If you don't already have a bedtime routine, ask your child to help you develop one. Ask her what she does before bed. Use pictures, charts, stickers, and other aids to make the routine fun. When your child feels part of the process, she's more likely to go along with the routine without arguing. Some activities you might want to in the bedtime routine are:

  • Bath time
  • Teeth and hair brushing
  • Story time
  • Lights out or nightlight on
  • Hugs and Kisses!

Remember, bedtime is bedtime, period, and it's non-negotiable. Wishy washy bedtimes don't do your child any favors. Consistent bedtime routines help kids by allowing them time to wind down and give them cues as to what to expect next. In no time, your child will be off to bed with no trouble at all.