Whether you have a toddler, young child or a teenager, getting kids to sleep is often the biggest battle parents face every night. In all the parenting books, this is the topic that offers over 100 techniques and ends up confusing us all.
Sleep is a huge part of every child’s life, in fact, recent studies done by the Sleep Foundation shows that toddlers aged 1-2 years need around 11 to 14 hours of sleep, every day! As they slowly get older, the recommended hours of sleep slowly decreases to about 10-13 hours from ages 3-5. Children need this amount of sleep to support their rapid mental and physical development while they lay asleep, precious and silent.
So, if they are supposed to sleep, for more than half a day, why is it so difficult to get them to ‘sleepy time’? Well, we have asked the suburban mothers and fathers from across Melbourne to give us their nifty little tips they use every night.
“I always feed her, bath her, and take her straight to the bedroom. That’s when she knows I’ll read her a story and she will slowly drift into sleep.”
“My little boy has always had a very strict 2-hour routine before bed every night: 6 pm is dinner time while a movie plays, 7.30pm is bath time, followed by a story and a sweet little song, and so by 8 pm he is off dreaming about his next big adventure.”
“My 3 children had different sleeping routines from a young age; one of them thought daytime was sleep time and night time was play time! Getting her out of that routine took a while, but consistency is definitely the key factor. After a while, she learned that when it was bath time, bedtime was soon coming after a story and a bottle of milk, she was out like a light.”
What we can take from these parents is that a regular sleep routine is a necessity to get your child ready for bed. Some little extra tips they mentioned were:
“Absolutely NO technology from the time the routine starts.”
“A little bit of honey on the dummy right before bedtimes helps them relax before drifting to sleep.”
“Make sure the bedroom is quite dark and peaceful so they can realise that night time is sleep time.”
“A good quality and supportive mattress is needed for a good night’s sleep.”
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