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Bedtime Routines


My favourite part of the day…bedtime!!

Bedtime Routine Child Baby


While bedtime with a 2 and 5 year old is no small feat, it is definitely easier because it has been a consistent part of their day since they were born. When working with families, I always stress the importance of the routine in order to cue sleep and create lifelong healthy sleep habits.


Babies, toddlers and children thrive on structure and knowing what to expect. Especially with younger babies, the timing of bedtime should be a moving target, based on the quality of sleep during the day plus nighttime sleepy cues.




So while it may not be at the same exact time every day, having a routine will allow your child’s body to wind down from a long day, expect that sleep is coming, and understand your expectations that bedtime means sleep time.


When my girls were babies, bedtime always included a warm bath, lotion, pajamas, swaddle or sleep sack (depending on their age), a quick book and the last feeding of the day. They were usually drowsy by this point and I was able to transfer them to the crib and allow them to fall asleep independently.




My bedtime routine has changed over the years and now includes a snack, bath, books or meditation, snuggles, and sleep. Establishing firm boundaries has helped me through the limit-pushing-toddler-stage.


I accomplish this by allowing my child to pick “1 and only 1” book or meditation to listen to. Every single night they ask for more, and every single night I say no more. I also use a timer for snuggles, so laying in bed with them does not turn into me falling asleep for the night!


Is bedtime challenging for you?




Here’s some tips. It should take no more than 30 minutes maximum.


If a child is fighting you, it may be as a result of them being overtired and wired, so their body is having a hard time settling down. This is when an early bedtime is essential to help your child get into a deep sleep in an appropriate amount of time. Like I mentioned above, set limits and stick to them.


Also, implementing some form of sleep training at bedtime can help ease the routine. Finally, send me a message if you’re looking for more individualized help with your little one’s sleep challenges!



Rest Well,

Sarah






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