Tired of the bedtime struggle?
I’ve come home exhausted after a long day at work, had dinner, and then it’s time for the evening bedtime routine. The battle starts. The tears, the screams, the blaring television, the refusal to get off the iPad- it’s a struggle.
Just when I think everyone’s snug in their bed, I hear the creak of the door and tiny footsteps, and it’s back to the same routine.
Getting your little ones to bed shouldn’t be this hard, right? Well, if you are an active child, it’s the last thing you want to do. Here are some simple steps to keep your sanity during bedtime and help your young ones have healthy sleep hygiene:
- Avoid use of screen-time 1-2 hours before bedtime
- Dim or turn off all lights in the room
- Limit fluids 2 hours before bedtime.
- Put your child to bed at the same time every night and have them wake up at the same time in the morning.
- If your child gets up, simply put the child back in bed and stand by the door of the room to monitor for a few minutes. Reassure your child that you are close by.
How much should your child sleep? According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine:
- 4-12 months of age: 12-16 hours of sleep per 24-hour period (including naps)
- 1-2 years of age: 11-14 hours per 24-hour period (including naps)
- 3-5 years of age: 10-13 hours per 24-hour period (including naps)
- 6-12 years of age: 9-12 hours per 24-hour period
- 13-18 years of age: 8-12 hours per 24-hour period
The next time you’re putting your kids to sleep, take a deep breath and remember these simple steps. If you are concerned that your child may have a more serious problem, like sleep apnea, please contact your child’s doctor.