Sleep: How to Develop a Sleep Routine that Works
Bedtime can be one of the most dreaded times in many households. However, it doesn’t have to be. Putting a sleep routine in place and sticking with it can make bedtime one of the most relaxing times in everyone’s day. Pediatric sleep specialist Dr. Whitney Roban of SLEEP-EEZ KIDZ, shares the following tips to help create the perfect sleep routine and ensure a good night sleep for everyone.
How to Develop a Sleep Routine that Works
1) Keep nap time and bed time routines to 15 minutes or less. For babies, bedtime routines can be as short as 5 minutes.
2) Implement the exact same routine for nap time and bed time. Children thrive on consistency and anxiety is lowered when they know what is going to happen next.
3) Make the sleep routines as non-stimulating as possible. An appropriate routine can include a feeding, books, and definitely cuddle time during the routine.
4) It is important to put your child down awake at every nap time and bed time. So if your child falls asleep while feeding, do not include a feeding during the sleep routine. After 4 months of age, sleep is tied to cognition, not hunger.
5) Children 4 months of age or older should begin to learn the important skill of self soothing. Try to avoid interfering with this skill acquisition by rocking, bouncing, strolling, etc. your child to sleep.
6) Remember to start your sleep routine early enough that your child has time to fall asleep before s/he becomes overtired. For example, if you want your child to fall asleep by 7:00 p.m. and it takes your child 15 minutes on average to fall asleep and the sleep routine is 15 minutes in length, you will need to start the sleep routine at 6:30 p.m. Doing so will prevent you from putting down your child overtired, which is the biggest cause of sleep problems.
What are you doing to establish a sleep routine for your children?
Photo courtesy of Flickr
Founder of Sleep-Eez Kidz, Pediatric Sleep Specialist Dr. Whitney Roban lives and works by one philosophy: parenting is one of the hardest jobs, made impossible when a family doesn’t sleep. Her mission is to give the gift of sleep to families through her information dissemination and emotional support based system. Whitney has 2 children, ages 7 and 10. For more sleep tips and information on sleep training, visit www.SleepEezKidz.com or Facebook.com/Sleepeezkidz or @Sleepeezkidz