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7 Steps to a Better Bedtime Routine Ver en Español

mother reading to daughter in bed

Going to bed doesn't have to be a battle. Mix and match these wind-down tips for a customized nightly routine that's calm and relaxing for everyone involved.

1. Consistency Is Key

Choose a bedtime and stick to it. This gives your child the opportunity to establish a healthy sleep pattern. Plus, predictability is comforting.

Sources:
"Getting Your Baby to Sleep." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Sleep Challenges: Why It Happens, What to Do." Zero to Three. February 29, 2016.
"Information About Children's Sleep for Parents and Teachers." Sleep for Kids. 2017.

2. Stay Calm

Save the tickles and high-energy games for earlier. You can't expect anyone to quickly transition from running around and laughing, to soundly sleeping.

Sources:
"Getting Your Baby to Sleep." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Child sleep: Put preschool bedtime problems to rest." Mayo Clinic. January 10, 2015.

3. Skip Screens

Don't allow TV in the bedroom, or screens of any kind around bedtime, which experts agree can cause poor sleep patterns.

Sources:
"Sleep Challenges: Why It Happens, What to Do." Zero to Three. February 29, 2016.
"Child sleep: Put preschool bedtime problems to rest." Mayo Clinic. January 10, 2015.
"American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Childhood Sleep Guidelines." American Academy of Pediatrics. June 13, 2016.
"Information About Children's Sleep for Parents and Teachers." Sleep for Kids. 2017.

4. Wind Down

Establish a soothing series of nightly events that signal sleep time, such as bathing, wearing PJs, brushing teeth, reading a book, and saying goodnight. Keep the process to roughly half an hour.

Sources:
"Getting Your Baby to Sleep." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Keeping Toddlers Active." American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight. 2017.
"Child sleep: Put preschool bedtime problems to rest." Mayo Clinic. January 10, 2015.
"American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Childhood Sleep Guidelines." American Academy of Pediatrics. June 13, 2016.
"Sleep and Your Preschooler." KidsHealth. August 2014.
"Information About Children's Sleep for Parents and Teachers." Sleep for Kids. 2017.
"Bedtime Routines: Your Questions Answered." Sleep Sisters. 2017.

5. Ambience Matters

Make sure your child's room is quiet, dark, and cozy. Feeling comfortable helps set the stage for a good night's sleep.

Sources:
"Sleep Challenges: Why It Happens, What to Do." Zero to Three. February 29, 2016.
"Child sleep: Put preschool bedtime problems to rest." Mayo Clinic. January 10, 2015.

6. Encourage Independence

Resist the urge to fall asleep next to your child, in her bed or yours. Learning to fall asleep independently is an important skill. Making your presence part of the routine is a hard habit to break.

Sources:
"Getting Your Baby to Sleep." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Bed-Sharing." KidsHealth. December 2016.
"Information About Children's Sleep for Parents and Teachers." Sleep for Kids. 2017.

7. Be Patient

Don't expect bedtime struggles to disappear overnight. Stay calm and keep with the routine changes you've decided on. Eventually they will stick.

Sources:
"Getting Your Baby to Sleep." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Sleep Challenges: Why It Happens, What to Do." Zero to Three. February 29, 2016.

This content is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or a guarantee of prevention, improvement, or treatment of specific conditions. Always consult with your healthcare provider about your specific medical questions or concerns.