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Improve Your Child's Sleep

Improve Your Child's Sleep

Sunday, February 2, 2014 - 10:35

 

My Five Top Tips to Improve your Child’s Sleep

If your child is having trouble sleeping through the night, you're not alone! Child sleep problems are very common. At some stage about 40% of children have a sleep problem considered to be significant by their parents.

The good news is that there are some quick and easy things you can do to help your little one start sleeping through the night and taking long, restful naps during the day!

Step 1: Choose an early bedtime

By putting your child to bed in the early evening, they are less likely to be overtired, so will fall asleep more easily and have more restful, undisturbed sleep. This will help your child to get a solid 11-13 hours of sleep per night, which is how much they need until about 10 years old!

Step 2: Put your child to sleep in the same place every night

Putting your child to bed at night (and for naps if they still have them) in a familiar place helps them feel secure and know that sleep is expected of them.

Step 3: Create a predictable bedtime routine

Consistency and predictability are really important to children. When you follow a short but predictable bedtime routine, your child knows what to expect at bedtime, making it is much easier to make the transition from waking to sleeping.

Step 4: Put your baby or toddler to bed AWAKE!

If you've been rocking, nursing, or otherwise soothing your child to sleep, this is going to seem like a challenge, but it's actually the most important step! It's only by letting your child fall asleep WITHOUT your help at bedtime, that they can learn the independent sleep skills necessary to stay asleep through the night.

Step 5: If your child wakes during the night, wait a few minutes before intervening

Some little ones start to fuss whenever they wake up, because they haven't learned how to fall back to sleep on their own. If a child has always been nursed or rocked to sleep, they won’t know how to fall asleep independently, but many children quickly work this out, if you don’t rush in! If your child continues to cry for more than a few minutes, you'll want to go in and offer some comfort. Speak softly and do some gentle rubbing or patting, but avoid picking your child up and rocking or nursing them back to sleep.

 

Pam Clark is a Certified Sleep SenseTM Consultant and the founder of the Child Sleep Company

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