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The Bedtime Routine

by Louise | September 25th, 2008 | Helpful Hints

Sleep is definitely one of the most important things in a child’s day. A child who does not get a sufficient amount of sleep is likely to have more trouble concentrating. Consequently, lack of sleep also can lead to poor behavior. It is important to note that the amount of sleep a child needs changes over time. One to three-year-olds should get from twelve to fourteen hours per day, this includes the typical naps. Three to six year-olds need nearly 11 to 12. Seven to twelve-year-olds need 10 to 11 hours, while twelve to eighteen year-olds should get eight and a quarter to nine and a half.

As a parent, it is important that you establish a consistent bedtime routine that gets your child an adequate amount of sleep. Here are some tips:

  • Half an hour before bedtime, keep the activities quiet, so the children can settle down.
  • Avoid caffeinated products with dinner.
  • Try reading with your child as part of the routine. It will help create a calm mood as well as be a time for connection and learning. Try to avoid watching TV.
  • Consider including bath time as part of the bedtime routine.
  • If a child refuses to sleep, create fair consequences.
  • You can feel free to allow a nightlight or soft music.

It is important to try to leave the room before your child has actually fallen asleep. If he/she becomes accustomed to you being in the room, this habit might become hard to break and will lead to problems in the future.

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