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As soon as you have a baby there’s one thing that totally disappears from your life – sleep! That is, until you can get your child into a good sleeping routine and start to get your own sleeping pattern back. It’s not the easiest task though, that is, unless you follow these handy tips:

1: Set Individual Bedtimes

Every child is different, so just because your friend puts their kids to bed at 7pm every night that doesn’t mean that’s the time every parent should consider. Instead you need to determine what time at night your child needs to go to bed in order to feel well-rested in the morning. After-all, if you have an early riser, sending them to bed later won’t help – they’ll still get up early in the morning but this time they’ll feel more tired.

Work out bedtimes per age  - this is particularly important if you have more than one child who have a few years between them. Your 4 year old isn’t likely to be staying up as late as your 8 year old so to make it easier to get them to bed let them know bedtimes per age – they’ll be even more excited for their birthday if it means a slightly later bedtime.

Child-Sleeping.jpg2: Set a Wake-Up Time

Now you know roughly how many hours sleep a night your child needs then you should get into a habit of having a wake-up call. Sure, sleeping later on a Sunday morning might seem great at the time, but come later that they’ll find it harder to get sleep and might suffer for it the next day.

Also by having a regular wake-up time you’ll find it easier to get your child up in the morning when it comes to school time.

3: Have a Specific Bedtime Routine

Kids respond really well to routine, so by making a nightly bedtime routine will help your kids get to sleep much easier. Think activities like a pre-bedtime bath and story time, which will relax the kids and get them in the mood for sleeping. In time your child will become automatically sleepy whenever you do these activities.

4: Turn Off the TV Screen

Just like for adults, the bright screens on televisions and tablets are detrimental to getting to sleep as it stops the production melatonin – a hormone needed in sleep cycles. Try to keep your child away from technology for at least 2 hours before bed. Also avoid bright lights in your home as these will have the same effect, tricking the body into thinking it’s daytime.

5: Keep Them Calm

Melatonin will help you sleep and cortisol is the hormone that will keep you awake. Known as the stress hormone, if your body has high levels of cortisol you will find it hard to sleep. Avoid TV shows that might cause stress and very active games. Instead aim for relaxing things like a bath or bedtime story.

6: Make a Nice Sleeping Environment

Getting to sleep is always so much easier when it’s in a comfortable environment. To make your children’s room as comfortable as possible ensure they have a suitable mattress, soft sheets and a comforting toy – although try not to have too many toys in the bed. Blackout curtains are also advisable in the summer months to create a dark, sleepy environment.

7: Address Fear – Don’t Ignore Them!

Kids get scared – it’s a part of growing up. But don’t ignore these fears. If your kid is afraid of the dark then invest in a night light. Similarly, if monsters are the issue, then get a special toy that will stand guard or turn a calming lavender room spray into an anti-monster spray your child can spray at night. Bedtimes will be much easier for it!

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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