Showing posts with label Routine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Routine. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Create a Sleeping Routine

Create a Sleeping Routine

Going to bed can be a pleasant experience - one that's looked forward to as day draws to a close - or it can be an unpleasant one - dreaded by child and parent alike. It all depends on the trappings. To make bedtime a highlight of the family day and more conductive to sleep, create a nightly routine. Stick to the routine as closely as you can (the predictability if a routine is very comforting to toddlers, and helps facilitate transitions), straying from it only when you have no option. The routine should be aimed at creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere (relegate tickling and roughhousing to an earlier part of the evening).

It may include any of the following, and should be individualized to fit your needs and those of your child or children

Clean up. Almost everyone finds comfort in a tub of warm water, children included, so the bath is a perfect beginning for the bedtime ritual. (Note: if your toddler is fearful of water or baths, skip this part. If your toddler has very dry skin, you may need to bath him or her less frequently)

Suit up. Changing into pajamas (make sure they're cozy and comfortable and cuddly, with no rough seams or scratchy collars, especially if your child's skin is particularly sensitive) continues the transition from day to night. In the morning, make the change from pajamas to day wear soon after your child gets up so that pajamas become a clear symbol of nighttime, bedtime, and sleeping

Snack up. Especially if your toddler eats dinner early, there's a long stretch of fasting ahead before breakfast. Serving a light snack at bedtime can stave off middle-of-the-night hunger pangs, and if it's chosen carefully, can help induce sleep. A combination of protein and healthful carbohydrates (a little plain yogurt with sliced banana and wheat germ; a piece of cheese, a cracker, and some orange juice; or a juice-sweetened cookie and a cup of milk) make a soporific snack

Brush up. The bedtime brushing is the most important one of the day. If it's not removed, bacteria that's built up on your toddler's teeth can spend the night feasting on tender enamel, causing decay. So make this brushing thorough

Read up. Snuggle up side by side in a special place (preferably the same spot each night), and read some stories together. The selections should be serene: no witches, no monsters, no spooky settings, and no raucous rhymes. As your toddler gets a bit older and more aware of time and numbers, put a time limit (three books, fifteen minutes, or whatever seems sensible) on your reading. When you get down to the last book or the last few minutes, give fair warning so that your listener won't suddenly be shocked to find the session over.

Listen up and cuddle up. A quiet cuddle while listening to a tape of favorite lullabies or other relaxing music can supplement the story hour and provides a perfect prelude to sleep

Recap. At some point in the routine, spend a little time talking to your toddler about the day, about what fun you had together, about how much you love him or her

Say good night all around. This finale is very helpful to a toddler separating from daytime fun and games and entering the quiet solitude of nighttime. Instead of whisking your toddler directly off to bed, take him or her on a "good-night" tour of the house. Together, say "good night" to Mommy, Daddy, siblings, pets, toys, stuffed animals, the sofa, the refrigerator, the stars, the moon outside the window - even to your toddler's reflection in the mirror. Limit each encounter to a brief good night, however - otherwise, the tour could go on for hours.

Tuck in a few friends. A beloved blanket or trusted teddy in hand and a few well selected sentries (a row of familiar dolls and stuffed animals) standing guard over (but not in) the crib can make a toddler feel more secure about submitting to cumber. Finally, leave your toddler with a hug, a kiss, a cheerful word or two ("See you in the morning" helps the toddler bridge the gap between night and day). Don't tarry, even if requested. Staying with your toddler until sleep comes deprives him or her of the opportunity to learn good sleep habits. It can also increase sleep problems.

Good intentions notwithstanding, there may be times when your toddler dozes off during the bedtime routine. How you handle the situation will depend on what kind of sleeper you have on your hands. If you know that your toddler will wake a bit but be drowsy enough to fall right back into dreamland when tucked in, then do try a polite awakening. If, on the other hand, your toddler will be cranky and have trouble going back to sleep if awakened en route to the crib, you may want to just let your sleeping toddler lie - and make a silent transfer to the crib. If this happens every night, however you will have to move the bedtime routine to an earlier time slot so that your little one will be able to stay awake until tuck-in time, and thus have the opportunity to fall asleep on his or her own

Written By dini kusuma
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