Instructions regarding baby bedtime routines

  • A strict bedtime routine should be maintained in the hours following dinnertime. Toddlers thrive on routine as it gives them stability. After eating dinner, allow a short play time and then progress into a bedtime routine. Common bedtime routine activities include eating a snack, brushing teeth, taking a bath, and listening to bedtime stories. When children recognize the bedtime routine they will come to appreciate the patterns and will gain security from knowing what will happen and what is expected of them.
  • When play time is incorporated into a bedtime routine, it should be kept calm and quiet at all times. A quiet atmosphere is ideal to get children ready for bed. Children usually have a hard time settling to fall asleep when allowed playing rambunctiously before bedtime. Minimize after-dinner television as this may stimulate a child.

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  • Bright lights should be kept to a minimum during bedtime routines. A room which is dim has the ability to create drowsiness and subsequently help children relax. Feeling cozy and snuggling is a good way to encourage children to feel sleepy and relax. Parents should try to create an environment which induces sleep.
  • Afternoon napping has the ability to disrupt a timely bedtime routine; it should thus be eliminated or minimized if possible. Try not to allow your toddler to sleep past approximately 3 pm. This should make it possible to have a reasonable time for bedtime in the evening.
  • All steps of the bedtime routine should be completed before tucking a child in. The will ensure that he gets a good night’s sleep. If a child resists for some reason, comfort him but stay firm at all times. He will learn from your firmness what is expected of him and will eventually cooperate with the bedtime routine established by you.

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