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Strategies to help today's working families in Northeast CT, MA and RI.

Sleep Routine

Sleep is a learned skill. By beginning a consistent routine your child will learn what to expect as bedtime approaches. All of the steps in this routine set the stage for a restful night’s sleep. The first step is creating a place that encourages rest. Things to consider include the amount of natural light that comes into the room and which technologies are available. Another factor is the quantity of toys in the room that are available. In order for any routine to be effective, a calm and relaxed atmosphere is created beforehand. This means that the events of your evening all flow together.

Your child’s actual bedtime should for the most part be the same every day. Once you’ve determined your children’s bedtime you can figure out how much time you’ll have for the one on one time. I recommend having different bedtimes depending on how close your children are in age and whether or not they share a room.

Let’s say for example that you have dinner at 6pm. Following dinner is an opportunity to spend some quiet time with your child during bath time. It can also give a chance for your older child to work on homework or enjoy some quiet play. After bath time we retire to the bedroom for pajamas. If your child is old enough, give them a choice in the matter and let them select their own bedtime attire.

Everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep. Most pediatricians suggest getting over 10 hours of sleep until the age of 12. Every facet of human development is effected by the amount of rest they receive. On the flip side, parents have commented that they feel more relaxed at night with a routine in place. They have fewer conflicts with their children when bedtime rolls around. If your child can’t go to sleep without a video I can help.

Multiple children present other challenges and sometimes an older sibling can be a deterrent to your youngest getting to bed. Sometimes they see you paying attention to “Alex” and decide that in order to get that same attention they have to do something. This is natural. Part of the routine is to help the child not being put to bed to either feel a part of the process or to know that they will receive the same attention.

If you would like to speak with me about implementing an end of day routine with your family please contact me.

Examples of topics I can address:

  1. Depending on videos can sabotage independent sleeping
  2. How to create transitions between end of the day activities
  3. Communication expectations will limit frustrations for both sides

These are statements/questions that have come up during previous discussions.

  1. My son will go to bed at 7:30 but comes out of his room and cries when I put him down. I’ll stay with him for the next two hours until he falls asleep. At the end of this I am exhausted.
  2. Why should I keep a consistent routine? My child is fine going to bed at 10pm.
  3. Evenings are the only time I have with my boy. I feel like I would lose that if I put him to bed any earlier.
  4. I have three children who are 5,3, and 2 years old. My parents live with us too and bedtime is a nightmare. They just can’t handle the noise. Our children scream and run all over the house. We don’t believe in spanking but we do believe in consequences. What would you suggest?
"A peaceful nighttime routine creates less stress for everyone, giving adults a chance to reconnect with each other at the end of the day." ~Jared Haines