By Lauren Boston
All children, from newborns to school-aged kids, thrive on a predictable bedtime routine to help them prepare for sleep. Comforting rituals and regular timing are a fundamental part of good quality sleep.
For most kids, bedtime should be somewhere between 6:00-8:00pm. Young babies will be on the early end of that range, and it will gradually get later as they get older. You should be able to determine their natural bedtime window by watching for their sleepy cues (eye-rubbing, yawning, slowing down during play, glazed or glassy eyes, crankiness). Once you’ve figured out their perfect bedtime, this should be the time they’re IN bed, not the time you start the routine.
A good bedtime routine should last about 30 minutes (or 45 minutes if a bath is included), and should mostly take place in your child’s bedroom with lowered lights. These activities should be calm, quiet and relaxing. Save the wrestling, scary books or TV shows, and tickle fights for earlier in the day!
Here are some ideas for activities you can incorporate into your bedtime routine.
- Put on PJ’s
- Swaddle / Sleep Sack
- Brush Teeth
- Go Potty
- Read Books
- Sing Lullabies
- Play a Quiet Game
- Share 3 Things About Your Day
- Tell a Story
- Listen to Soothing Music
- Baby or Toddler Yoga
- Bottle or Nursing
- Prayers, Blessings, or Sending Kisses and Love to Others
- Saying Goodnight to Things in the Room
- Turning off Light / Turning on Nightlight
I offer a FREE 15 minute assessment by phone so that clients have a no-obligation way to see if my services are a match for their family. The gentle & proven method I teach does not leave your child alone to “cry-it-out”, and can be applied to all families, regardless of their parenting style.
As a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach & Postpartum Doula, I have a true passion for all things related to children’s sleep. My own daughter was colicky, and a terrible sleeper. Shortly after I called on the services of a sleep coach I saw dramatic results in my daughter’s sleep, and overall mood. I was convinced I had to share this gift with other tired parents.
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