Make Bedtime Easier

1. Turn off all electronics.

That means the TV, computer, video games—anything that could be overly stimulating. Shut everything off at least 1 hour before bedtime.

2. Nap smart.

Don’t let your child to nap too close to bedtime. If they do take an afternoon nap, limit it to no more than 2 hours.

3. Eliminate caffeine.

Iced tea, cocoa, chocolate—all of these can keep kids wired and ready to go. If your kids are having trouble going to sleep, try no caffeine after lunchtime.

4. Wear them out.

Sure, kids have lots of energy. But they have an active day filled with lots of exercise, the odds are that they will conk out a lot sooner. Just don’t let them exercise before bed, or they’ll get a second wind.

5. Set a bedtime—and stick to it.

For kids, structure is a must when it comes to establishing good sleep patterns. Try not to vary the time by more than half-an-hour each night.

6. Establish a “wind down” routine.

More than helping your child calm down, a routine can promote a sense of stability and comfort. Incorporate activities like a warm bath, brushing teeth, changing into pajamas, a bedtime story, etc.

7. Create a calm environment.

Make sure your child’s room is cool and dark and that his bed is soft and comfortable. Calming music or a white noise machine can also help bring about sleepiness.

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