Maximise your child’s sleep time by following these 5 steps to ensure your child falls asleep, and more importantly stays asleep!
1. Have the same routine every night.
An easy way to help maximise your little one’s sleep is to create a predictable bedtime routine. The key to a bedtime routine is to follow the same predictable pattern of events before bedtime, every night. This signals to your baby or toddler that it is time to wind down and get sleepy. If the routine keeps changing, then you are missing out on all the benefits that a strong routine has to offer. Focus on creating a pattern of pre-bed activities, and then make sure to follow it every night.
2. Make sure bedtime is the same time every night.
The bedtime routine should happen at roughly the same time each night, in relation to your baby’s last nap. However, many families start the bedtime too late, which pushes bedtime even later. Remember, it should take your baby roughly 10 minutes to fall asleep, so you need to get him or her into the cot ahead of time. The goal is always to get your baby or toddler to bed before they are over-tired; helping him or her fall asleep easily – and stay asleep through the night (ironically, an over-tired child will tend to wake more frequently through the night).
3. Keep it simple.
If the bedtime routine is packed full of action, and if it requires you to do lots of different activities, your little one may actually become wound up, instead of calming down and relaxing. Aim to stick to a few simple and calming activities – bath time and a few books (age dependent) and some good cuddles!
4. Keep it short.
If your bedtime routine is too long, you can actually miss your child’s ideal sleep window, which means that by the end of the routine, your baby or toddler will be cranky and fussy, instead of sleepy and relaxed. Try to keep the activities you do right before bed relatively short, and be sure to watch your baby’s sleep signals!
5. Keep it calm.
Steer clear of any winding-up activities. The activities that are part of your baby or toddler’s bedtime routine should be calming and soothing.
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