Plan your child's Bedtime Routine

There are many theories about what makes a great Sleep Routine. Below we provide some key points to developing a unique routine that works best for you.

Young children benefit from having a fixed, repetitive and consistent routine after 6 months old. From this point they are still learning and teaching themselves how to effectively sleep.

Before you begin, consider the following:
- What time would you like them to be asleep by?
- Bath time should be half an hour before this time if appropriate.
- What activities would they enjoy doing during their quite hour?
- What snacks and drinks would they like?

Things to avoid:-
- Do not let your child look at any electronic devices less than 1 hour before bedtime.
- Do not allow your child to drink/eat any sugary drinks/snacks less than 1 hour before bedtime.

Here is an example of a good Sleep Routine:

Time  Activity
6.30 pm

All digital screens are turned off
(that means TV, iPad and any smartphones).
This helps calm your child and decrease stimulation.

Main lights in the house are dimmed and curtains are closed.

Child is encouraged to choose from quiet activities on offer:
- Colouring in
- Bead threading
- Jigsaw puzzles
6.45 pm It's time for a Sleep Snack 
Child is offered a drink and snack from the 'Sleepy Foods' list.
A glass of milk and a banana is a good choice.
7.00 pm

Bath time. It's time to jump in the bath and get clean.

Do not take your child back to the living room after this point as this will disrupt the Sleep Routine.

Make sure you take your child to the toilet, and then have them brush their teeth.

7.15 pm Take your child to their bedroom.
Make sure that the environment is calm, quiet, the curtains are drawn and the temperature is comfortable. Make sure they are in their pyjamas and ready for Story time.
7.20 pm

As part of Story time its important to have a phrase that is associated with going to sleep, something simple and clear is best.

"It's night time George, go to sleep".

Reading the "Goes to Sleep" book will help create reinforce a consistent pattern and communicate the importance of going to sleep.

Both parents should repeat the same, consistent message:

"It's night time George, go to sleep".

After the book is read, both parents should leave the room.

7.30 pm

You should leave the child to settle to sleep. It's important that your child learn how to settle themselves 

Following this simple Sleep Routine for around 5 weeks will have a marked affect. Creating a pattern of consistency will help your child learn a robust Sleep Routine and learn how to sleep.



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