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Top 4 Sleep Tips for Kids

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Momlogic contributor and sleep expert Jill Spivack can have your family sleeping better TONIGHT -- with these four easy steps.

child sleeping

B=Have a good BEDTIME ROUTINE: A consistent 15-45 minute wind-down routine (including: bath, diaper change, pj's, milk, books or some relaxing music) is important after a busy day. Do this routine at the same time each night and it will help create sleep cues for the child before bedtime.

E=Create a proper sleep ENVIRONMENT: Make sure your child has no stimulating toys in his crib or near his bed, keep light to a minimum and put on white noise to make sure your child won't be disturbed.

D=Put your child DOWN AWAKE: The most important thing parents can do is to allow him to learn the skill of putting HIMSELF to sleep rather than to continue to rely on external help from mom or dad. Although it's frustrating when he's learning, it gets easier if parents stay consistent and encouraging.

S=Create a well-timed sleep SCHEDULE: Choose a nice early bedtime for your child. Children tend to wake up by 7 a.m., so the latest bedtime we recommend all the way to age eight is 8 p.m.. This also allows parents to have some time for themselves and their relationship.

What's your best get-your-kid-to-sleep-fast trick?

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jodi October 22, 2008, 5:33 PM

The most important thing is consistency. It doesn’t matter what works for you and your child, except that you do it every single night. (Work those sleep cues at naptime, too.) I have twins who, in a variety of ways, have put us through hell for the past eight years, but almost never about sleeping!

Shawna October 22, 2008, 7:02 PM

I do all those things suggested with my kids! I have two children my son is two and my daughter is four! Well, my daughter has been getting up anywheres between three to six am!!! She goes into the living room and watches t.v.!! We have not minded in the past but now it seems to be getting earlier and earlier!! Which we don’t like!! We are trying to figure out ways to stop her from doing this! We are going to telling her that she needs our permission to watch t.v and the t.v is broken!If we think its too early she is being sent back to her room to sleep!! I guess we’ll have to see how it goes!! Wish us luck!!!

Ginny October 23, 2008, 9:06 AM

Our four year old has always been an early morning person. She wakes with the sun, and sometimes earlier, every morning regardless of how late she stays up. We have tried a few things over the years to prevent her from getting up too early. What has worked best for us for over a year is what we call a ‘good morning light.’ it is a night light that is plugged into a device normally used for Christmas lights that has a remote switch to turn it on and off (a timer switch would work, too, but we liked having control of turning it on and off). She is not to get out of bed (except to use the bathroom) unless that light is on or she loses privileges (like watching her favorite morning tv show). She has books near her bed that she can look at while she waits for it to be time to get up. And if it’s too dark to read, then she knows she needs to try and go back to sleep.

We started using the light with our two year old about six months ago. Just turning it on before we go in to get her as well. Now she also knows that she is not to get out of bed without the light being on. (Not to mention her sister calling from the next room reminding her it’s not time to get up yet.)

For this to work you have to be consistent and follow through with the rules you make.

We used all the suggestions in the story above as well. I think a lot of it depends on the child. Our oldest slept consistently through the night after about three weeks old. But our youngest is two and a half, and still wakes up a lot in the middle of the night. This too shall pass (we hope!).

Shawna October 23, 2008, 10:58 AM

Thanks for the advice Ginny!!! Our daughter woke up at 1:30am. She came into our room and asked if she could watch t.v we said “no” and we tucked her into bed again. She didn’t wake up again till 6:00. We have now turned the t.v onto a video 2 channel that keeps the screen blue!!This is the only way we can think of to stop her from going into the living room and turning the t.v on.She needs our permission to watch it now!!! Last night it seemed to work with a minimal amount of cries and fussiness!!!! I am hopping it is only a phase!! She is going to school next year!! And we have to do something to stop this or we are not good parents!!

Kate October 23, 2008, 12:21 PM

!!! Good Luck, Shawna!!!!!!!!!

Sundance October 23, 2008, 5:14 PM

I am a mom of three and have been putting my kids to bed at 8:00 for as long as they have been on this earth. My oldest(13) still goes to bed at 8:00 during the school week and her mind & body is right in sync. I put my children on a routine from the moment they came home from the hospital. Two reasons…one, their little bodies and brain need the rest so they can grow! Two, I needed time to myself so I could re-charge for the next moment to moment adventure!! My friends use to make fun of my routine & schedule. Now they’re envious because I can have an adult conversation while sipping my wine without kids running, screaming and wanting in the background after 8pm!! Ha..Ha!! Love It!!!

help stop snoring June 22, 2010, 1:34 PM

Thanks for giving such information.

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