What’s the key to your child getting a good night’s sleep?
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2012
(BPT) – As a parent, do you dread the evening hours because bedtime is such a struggle? Do your children do everything they can to delay turning the lights out? Do they experience fear and anxiety when you leave the room? These all-too-common scenarios play out in countless households every evening, leaving Mom and Dad wondering what they can do to help their kids get the sleep they need without a flood of tears.
Toddlers need an average of 12 to 14 hours of sleep. But, two-thirds of all children younger than 10 experience one or more sleep problems at least three nights a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Difficulties range from stalling or resisting going to bed to snoring and sleepwalking. Desperate parents are left frustrated as they simply want their little ones to get the sleep they need.
“Kids really need to have that sleep in their bodies to have enough energy to make it through the day, think smart thoughts and grow properly,” says Jennifer Waldburger, a family sleep therapist from Sleepy Planet and consultant for The Jim Henson Company’s Pajanimals children’s series, which airs every night on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout and Saturday mornings on NBC. “The idea is to get the child to visualize the process, to understand that it’s normal, healthy and OK to fall asleep.”
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Establishing a regular bedtime routine is key, says Waldburger, and anyone putting the child to bed must be on that same schedule. “Stay consistent. Make sure you stick to that routine and schedule,” stresses Waldburger.
Some simple steps that can be part of a good bedtime routine include: