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The Summit Counseling Center
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How to Tackle Bedtime

Mariah (Dantzler) McFetridge

evening family reading. father reads children . book before going to bedGetting down a bedtime routine is like nailing the perfect recipe. In order to have a successful, stress-free, bedtime there are a few keys ingredients that go a long way when it comes to sweet dreams.

Consistency

Try to stay as consistent as possible when it comes to bedtime. The weekends pay throw off the schedule a little bit but for the most part bedtime should be as close to the same time as possible

Guide for sleep as recommended by American Pediatrics Association

  • Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health

Make bedtime fun

Pick a settle, snug, sleep routine that happens every night

Settle is the thing you do 30 minutes before bedtime that tells your brain its time to get ready for bed! That might be a bubble bath, dance party, or light snack. Snug is what you do once you get into bed and should be about 10 minutes before bed this could include story time, prayers, snuggling, etc The last thing is the sleep routine and this is the last thing done before the child closes their eyes – it can be turning the sound machine on, saying I love yous, or one last hug.

Give control

Some children struggle with bedtime because they feel out of control with the process. Try having something they can control in the bedtime process such as what PJS to wear, what essential oil to diffuse while they sleep, or what story to read before bed. This can help then look forward to bedtime if they know there will be fun choices to make on their own.

Turn bedtime routines from nightmares into sweet dreams!

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