Tips For Getting Your Child To Sleep

Use the strategies to help you child of any age go to sleep.

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• Parenting: Age 0-2 Infant / Baby • Parenting: Age 11-12 Pre-Teen
• Parenting: Age 13-18 Teen • Parenting: Age 2-5 Toddler
• Parenting: Age 5-11 School Age • Parenting: How-To
• Parenting: Tips & Tricks

Beth Anderson's Take
Children of any age can have problems going to sleep, whether it's the boogey monster or a drink of water, some kids just don't want to go to bed. Here are some tips to help ease their transition to lala land.

1. In today's world kids may spend many hours staring at a screen. The blue light that is emitted from electronics disrupts the pineal gland from releasing melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you sleep. So enforce a strict no electronics policy at least an hour before bedtime. Two is even better.

2. A sleep routine is benefits everyone, not just children. Setting and sticking to a regular sleep routine helps your brain and body unwind from the day. It also triggers sleepiness. A bedtime routine should be at least thirty to sixty minutes for best effect. Younger children will need you to help them through most of the steps, but older children should be able to handle things with little effort on your part.

A good sleep routine might include:
A warm bath or shower
Brushing teeth
Putting on their pajamas
Picking out clothes for the next day
Reading a story together
Saying goodnight

3. The Buddy System works as good at bedtime as it does in school. A large part of children being scared is because they are alone. Letting your child pick out a buddy to sleep with can help them feel safe and maybe keep them in bed for the night.

4. Do not discount their fear of monsters under their bed or the boogeyman in their closet. The fear is very real to them. You can help them by doing a monster sweep, looking under the bed and in the closet.

5. Children can also be afraid of the dark. Yes a dark room is the best for sleeping but not for a frightened child. A small rechargeable flashlight or a night light that plugs into the wall can help substantially.

6. A small snack close to bedtime can help children stay asleep. Snacks like a slice of turkey, string cheese, wheat muffin, or yogurt are a great idea.

7. Lavender is known for it's calming properties. You can use essential oil in a diffuser, or rub a few drops on their feet. You can make a mist by adding a few drop of lavender oil to a small spritzer bottle filled with water and spray that on their pillow.

8. There area relaxation tips that you can teach your children. They can focus on their breathing and counting, or repeating a simple phrase. They can also focus on tensing and relaxing their muscles a small group at a time working their way from their feet to their head.

9. Enforcing a bedtime can be difficult for everyone involved but this is one fight that you must fight. School age children need at least ten hours of sleep every night. Younger children need eleven to twelve hours. Any less and they could be crabby the next day. A consistent bedtime is the key to a good bedtime routine.
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Beth Anderson
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