Bedtime is time to wind down. Creating a schedule that your child comes to expect makes the transition from an active day to a quiet time easier.
Many parents create "a special time" to be together at bedtime. Sometimes they read or tell stories. Other times, they let the child select what she or he wants to do.
WATCH AND LISTEN
What helps your child get ready for bed in the most peaceful way, and what stirs up your child? Emphasize the calming activities and turn them into family traditions.
FOR YOUR BABY
- Create a consistent bedtime schedule that your child can count on.
- Think of bedtime as a quiet time to be together rather than a scary time of separation. Your attention will help build a more positive attitude in your child.
FOR YOUR TODDLER
- Create traditions: First we take a bath and brush our teeth, then we read a story, put on the nightlight, give a kiss, and go to sleep. With practice, a consistent schedule will help children learn to go to sleep by themselves.
FOR YOUR PRESCHOOLER
- Your preschooler can take a more active role in planning bedtime traditions and use special time for listening to stories, making up stories about his or her stuffed animals, or for talking about the day.