From the moment you bring your new-born home, one of the questions you’re constantly asked is “How is he/she sleeping?” Unfortunately, for some parents, bad sleeping patterns continue well into early childhood. If you are one of these tired parents, here are some hints and tips on how to improve your child’s sleep patterns, whatever their age.
1. Establish a Routine
It’s important, from a very young age to establish a proper bedtime routine. For babies and young children, this can be as simple as bath, supper, warm drink, story, bed. They will soon start to read the signs that bedtime is coming!
2. Stick to Timings
It’s a good idea to put your child to bed at the same time, every night. Don’t be tempted to let them stay up later because it’s the weekend or the school holidays. If you stick to a structured bedtime, your little one will start to understand that it is bedtime and they will become tired and ready for sleep at the same time each evening.
3. Lead by Example
If your child realises that you also have a bedtime and a ‘getting up time’, they are likely to be more accepting of their own bedtime.
4. Take Away Distractions
Remove any noisy, light-up toys and other distractions such as computers, tablets and phones from their bedroom. And don’t let them use technology before bed as the lighting on these items can interfere with the brain’s ability to recognise tiredness.
5. Create a Relaxing Environment
It’s common in children for them to cause a fuss about not wanting to go to bed. By having a nice, relaxing environment to sleep in will help to avoid this. Create a haven for them by keeping their bedroom warm, comfortable and tidy. Let them have some input when choosing accessories for the bedroom, such as their bed and decor. This will make them more excited for when they wish to go to bed.
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