Bedtime routines dos and don’ts

Whether you have an infant, toddler, kindergartner, or preteen, a good bedtime routine can be the difference between good sleep habits and a lot of sleepless nights.

There are dozens of parenting sleep books about kids and sleep problems, from Dr. Bourbon sweet vermouth bitters Ferber’s “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” book to Elizabeth Pantley’s “No-Cry Sleep Solution”.

And while any of the books can help you get your baby sleeping better, even though they all use different methods, it is important to notice that most of these parenting experts stress the key of a good bedtime routine for a good night’s sleep.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics, in their “Guide to Your Child’s Sleep” book state that “it’s almost impossible to overstress the importance of a calm, orderly bedtime routine.” Bedtime Routines

A bedtime routine includes all of the things that you do with your baby or older child just before and up to the time that you put him to bed, such as taking a bath, a last diaper change, putting on pajamas, saying prayers, and reading a bedtime story, etc.

The goal of a good bedtime routine is for your child to fall asleep on his own, without being rocked, watching TV, or with you lying down next to him. Rye whiskey sweet vermouth bitters This way, if he does wake up later, he should be able to comfort himself and fall back asleep without needing any extra help.

Martini extra dry vermouth miniature On the other hand, if he associates falling asleep with being rocked, for example, if he does later wake up in the middle of the night, he likely won’t be able to go back to sleep unless you rock him back to sleep.

There is no absolute right way to set up a bedtime routine. Martini extra dry vermouth white Some kids like to hear a bedtime story, others may want to talk about their day, and some may just want to say their prayers and go to sleep. Vodka sweet vermouth recipes As long as your child falls asleep easily and sleeps all night, then your bedtime routine is likely working well.

Other things that you should likely do as part of a good bedtime routine can include that you:

• Do start early. Vodka martini without dry vermouth It is much easier to begin a good bedtime routine when your baby is young than to try and change poor sleep routines when you have a toddler or preschooler who still isn’t sleeping well.

• Do make your bedtime routine age-appropriate. Cocktail of gin and vermouth crossword clue Your child’s bedtime routine will change over time. Dirty gin martini recipe without vermouth For example, while it is expected for a newborn or younger infant to fall asleep nursing or drinking a bottle of formula, you can try and start putting your baby down while he is drowsy but still awake once he is four or five months old.

• Do keep your bedtime routine fairly short. Cinzano rosso vermouth cocktail recipes A good bedtime routine will probably last about 10 to 15 minutes, or a little longer if you include a bath.

• Do use a security object as a part of your bedtime routine. Cocteles con vermouth blanco A security object, like a stuffed animal or blanket, can be an important part of a good bedtime routine, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. Martini sweet vermouth recipe These types of items usually aren’t safe in the crib for younger infants, though.

• Do be consistent in your bedtime routine. Martini dry vermouth recipes Your bedtime routine may change over time, as your child gets older, but it should be fairly consistent from day to day, starting at the same time and going in the same order. Sweet vodka martini recipes For example, a toddler’s bedtime routine might start at 8 p.m. Scotch sweet vermouth and angostura bitters and include a bath, putting on pajamas, reading a few bedtime stories, getting in bed and a final goodnight.

• Do offer some choices in your bedtime routine. Whiskey sweet vermouth bitters Your child can’t choose when to go to bed, but you can let him have some power in his bedtime routine by letting him have a choice over which pajamas to wear and which books to read, etc.

• Do understand that a little crying can be okay. Martini with vermouth and gin Some kids, no matter what you do, will cry for a few minutes as they settle down for sleep or when they wake up in the middle of the night. Vodka martini orange bitters This can be okay if they quickly settle down and you are comfortable letting them cry for a few minutes. Vodka martini gin Keep in mind that there is no real ‘cry-it-out’ method of getting kids to sleep, though. Martini extra dry vermouth Even the Ferber Method doesn’t advocate simply letting kids cry all night.

• Do use a nightlight. Dirty gin martini without vermouth Few kids like to sleep in the dark, which makes a nightlight useful.

• Do include dental hygiene in your bedtime routine. Sweet tea vodka martini recipes Whether you are cleaning your baby’s gums or reminding your older child to brush and floss his teeth, proper dental hygiene is a good habit that you can include in your child’s bedtime routine each night.

• Do remind your kids to use the bathroom one last time before going to bed. Sweet tea vodka drink recipes This is especially important for younger kids who still have issues with bedwetting.

Just like there are a lot of right ways to have a good bedtime routine, there are some wrong ways and things you should avoid.

• Don’t drag out your bedtime routine. Sweet vodka cocktail recipes If you are not careful, your child will drag out your bedtime routine much longer with repeated calls for drinks, snacks, or to use the bathroom. Sweet vodka drink recipes Try to stick to your original bedtime, though.

• Avoid stimulating activities just before your bedtime routine. Sweet vermouth drink recipes Especially if your child has trouble falling asleep, you should usually stop stimulating activities 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime, such as playing video games, watching TV, or talking on the phone.

• Avoid caffeine before bed. Gin and vermouth drink recipes Keep in mind that in addition to soda and tea, caffeine can be a hidden ingredient in other foods, including coffee-flavored ice cream and chocolate, etc.

• Avoid poor sleep associations. Dry vermouth drink recipes This includes things like rubbing your child’s back until he falls asleep, having music playing or keeping the TV on since if your child learns to associate falling asleep with something like that, he will need help if he later wakes up. Whiskey and vermouth recipe And no, simply keeping the TV or music on all night doesn’t work. Martini recipe gin dirty If your child wakes up, he will still cry out for you and need your help to go back to sleep.

• Don’t assume that your child will simply outgrow poor sleep habits. Martini ingredients gin Unfortunately, if nothing is done, many children who have sleep problems as infants and toddlers continue to sleep poorly even once they start school. Recipe martini gin The sooner you fix your child’s poor sleep habits, including starting a good bedtime routine, the better.

And remember that if your kids aren’t sleeping through, neither will you.

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