Time for Bed

“Sleep” is an issue that exhausts parents…usually because they don’t get enough of it. When we start the day already tired out, everything about the day just becomes more difficult. Babies and children are no different. When they aren’t sleeping well, they are unhappy and easily frustrated. We all really need enough sleep.

Sleep “Problems”

Sometimes children seem to be troubled and this affects their sleep.

Some things to consider:

  • Are they too warm or too cold? Maybe they’re insisting on wearing their favourite flannel pyjamas and it’s now summer. Or maybe there is too much heat going into their room and they’re getting a headache?
  • Is there any chance that they have a physical problem – not bad enough so you’ve noticed, but irritating enough that it wakes them (e.g. Low-grade ear infection)
  • Has there been any change in their life? Things that could seem insignificant to a parent can be very disruptive for children. They don’t like changes in their routine or environment.
  • Are you pressuring your child to move to a “big girl bed?” To you, she may look cramped in her crib, but only make this change when she says she is ready.
  • Is your child afraid of the dark? Lots of adults are. A night light is a simple solution and many parents automatically install one in their newborn’s room and never take it out.

Bedtime Routines:

Possible components:

  • a phrase that a child will come to understand means it’s time to go to sleep (example: “Now it’s sleep time.”)
  • a special song that you sing
  • a good cuddle
  • read a story or poem
  • make up a story about what happened in their day (they often really want to hear what happened to you when you were away from them too – keep it simple!)
  • bath
  • a snack
  • teeth cleaning
  • tape-recorded music
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