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Do's and Don'ts for Teaching Good Sleep Habits

Aug 17, 2007
If you are having problems, getting your little one to sleep while you enjoy sleeping then you will enjoy these tips on what to do and what not to do to teach your child good sleep habits. Not only will your child benefit from getting a good nights sleep but also you will enjoy a less cranky child during the day.

On the list of the things to do are:
1. Made bedtime quality time. This should be a special time for you to interact with your child. You can read a story, say prayers, or some other "special" routine you would like to use before you turn off the lights and say goodnight.
2. Figure out the best bedtime for your child. Not every child needs the same amount of sleep as another. This applies to naptime as well. Some two years old no longer need naps while others still need that afternoon resting period. Notice when your child is beginning to run down in the evening, this would be the perfect time for bed. If you wait past this time, they will soon get another burst of energy and then will not want to go to bed.
3. Stay on a routine. Yes, routines are very important. They should wake up at the same time each day, eat meals at the same time and of course go to bed at the same time each evening. This includes babies. Children like to know what to expect and this will help them understand that bedtime is bedtime.
4. When you create your routine, be sure you can stick to it no matter where you might be such as your parent's home.
5. You may wish to use sound to help lull them to sleep such as a vaporizer or a CD with ocean sounds, etc... this helps block out other distractive sounds that might keep them awake.
6. Try using dimmer lights in the evening prior to bedtime and then use bright lights in the morning.

On the list of the things not to do are:
1. Never give your baby or toddler a bottle of juice or milk to help soothe them to sleep. If you must give them a bottle, give them one with water.
2. Solid food should not be given to a child until they reach at least 6 months of age. If their bodies are not ready for solid food, it can cause them to have a stomachache and they are less likely to sleep well.
3. Do not keep toys in your childs bed. It is okay to have one to sleep with but that is enough. The more toys they have at their disposal the more likely they are to stay awake and play.
4. Do not use bedtime as a punishment. Remember, you want them to enjoy getting rest if they look at it as punishment they are never going to want to go bed.
5. Prior to bedtime, do not give your child drinks such as tea, sodas, or hot chocolate. These have caffeine in them and this can keep them awake.
About the Author
For more information about Your child's health and sleep you can check out
yourchildrenshealth.com
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