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TIPS FOR BRINGING A BEDTIME FORWARD

TIPS FOR BRINGING A BEDTIME FORWARD

Getting your little ones to sleep can be a difficult task at times. There are so many factors that can impact upon sleep as well as a lot of reasons why your child may not want to go to sleep. Howeve, it’s important that children get the right amount of sleep for their age as lack of sleep can have long lasting affects on health.

7pm is the bedtime I recommend for babies and toddlers. Newborns are different and having a set bedtime of 7pm is not a real expectation. With that being said, parents of newborns can still have an aim of a 7pm bedtime as the bay grows. The reason I recommend a bedtime of 7pm is because this is a time when the sun is usually down and night time is here (except for during daylight savings of course). Night time helps increase melatonin which is the sleepy hormone. Another reason 7pm is a good bedtime is because it allows for enough nighttime sleep before the child needs to be awake in the morning for daycare, pre-schoool or school.

If you have a little one staying up late, there are a few things you can do to help bring this bedtime forward:

  1. Having a positive bedtime routine in place that is used consistently every night is really important. Children thrive off routine and this can help them feel settled and relaxed. A bedtime routine should start between 30-45 minutes before you want your child to sleep and should include things like breast, bottle or cup of milk, bath or shower, massage, book, song etc. The most important thing is with bedtime routines is consistency.
  2. Slowly bringing the bedtime earlier by 5 minutes every night can be a really helpful technique to use. For example, if your child is going to sleep at 8.30pm every night, on night one ensure that the child is in bed and ready for sleep at 8.25pm. The next night, make the bedtime 8.20pm and so on.
  3. Don’t let your child sleep in the following morning if they have had a late night. In bringing the bedtime forward, we are trying to adjust their body clock.
  4. Ensure that daytime naps are not too late in the afternoon. Around 3-4pm should be the latest that a child has a sleep. Napping too late in the afternoon can make for a sleepless child come bedtime.
  5. Use a tool such as the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock. Whilst parents might “lie” (in the child’s eyes) that it’s time for bed, using a product such as this helps the child understand that it’s bedtime¬† by using images the child can relate to. Further, the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock gets the child excited about going to bed and involved in the bedtime process which helps them feel special. For more information about the clock go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-clock/

Any changes you make in your little ones life take time and consistency. Bringing a bedtime forward won’t change in one night, but 4-5 nights (sometimes longer) is a realistic expectation if you keep it consistent.

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