Importance of a Bedtime Routine – Guest Blogger

Stephanie Mitchell

Prairie Dreams Sleep Solutions

As the start of a new year has come many people want to make a positive change in their life. With having young children, sleep can be one aspect of your life you want to improve. Many parents dread bedtime. It can be the point in the day where everyone at home is tired and the struggles of getting everyone into bed without meltdowns and a long drawn out process just doesn’t seem possible.

With sleep being so important to health and happiness, this may be one area in your life you want to make a positive change. One simple step towards this is to introduce a bedtime routine for your child. Introducing a routine can be one way to make bedtime go more smoothly. Additional benefits of a routine will include your child establishing and maintaining good sleep habits, help them relax, fall asleep easily and stay asleep.

As adults many of us have routines as well.  It may be the way you go about your morning. You might like to get up and have a coffee right away, or maybe the first thing you do is get up and get ready. Whatever the routine may be, it helps your body start gearing up for the day. Maybe your routine is the way you wind down at the end of the day. You may prefer to have a bath or read a book. This helps your body wind down at the end of the day and prepare to sleep.  These familiar things help you feel comfortable and relaxed.

Just like adults, babies and children thrive on routine.  Whether it is a feeding or sleep routine this helps babies and children feel comfortable and relaxed. When they know what is coming next, they feel secure.

Little children do not know how to tell time, so having a bedtime routine is one of the best ways to help let them calm down and signal for them that sleep is approaching. A sleep routine for your baby will help towards getting a good nights rest not only for your child but also for your entire family. Getting a full nights rest will let them wake up refreshed and rested.

Here are a few tips to help with a smooth bedtime routine for your child.

  • Make sure your child is ready for sleep. You want enough sleep debt built up so your baby will fall asleep easily. If they don’t have enough time between the last nap of the day until bedtime they will be under tired and will not be ready to sleep. Just the same if there has been too big of a gap between the last nap and bedtime your child will be over tired and have a hard time settling. An over or under tired baby will not settle very easily no matter how good your bedtime routine is.
  • Daytime naps. This routine can be shorter than nighttime but we still want to signal that sleep is approaching and let them feel relaxed. A simple diaper change, story and into bed is all that is needed.

For your evening bedtime routine you will want it slightly longer than the daytime nap routine. Anywhere between 20- 40 minutes is a good length.  You do not want the bedtime routine to be too over stimulating or too drawn out.

Sample bedtime routine for a 6 month old with a bedtime of 7PM.

6:30 PM – Feed

6:40 PM – Bath

6:50 PM – Dress Baby, Read a Book or Sing a Song

7:00 PM – Put baby in sleep sack and into bed

A bedtime routine won’t, in itself, always lead to your baby settling or sleeping better. Factors throughout the day such as how over or under tired they may be, total amount of day sleep, timings of naps, calorie intake during the day, nap hours after 3PM and so on, contribute to how well your baby sleeps through the night. As there are so many factors that contribute to how well your child may sleep at night it can seem quite tricky to get right! The very first place you can start setting up these great habits is with our baby and toddler Sleep Programs – these give you all the tools you need to get your baby’s sleep on track.

Prairie Dreams Sleep Solutions is a new Paediatric Sleep Consulting Company based out of White City, Saskatchewan. My name is Stephanie Mitchell and as a mother of 3 young children I know first hand the struggles with sleep and the feeling of being sleep deprived. If you would like to learn more please visit www.prairiedreams.ca or please feel free to book a 15-minute consultation. We can work together to get your child on a personalized sleep plan and get them the sleep they need so you and your family are more rested!

As a kick-off promotion I will be offering for a limited time $100 off any sleep

program.

 

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