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Bedtime routines for toddlers & preschool kids

 
In this article we take a look at some of the benefits of good bedtime routines for toddlers and pre-schoolers, why they're important and how to put a bedtime routine in place. We also share some ideas to help you establish your own bedtime routines and encourage healthy sleep habits for the future.
In this article we take a look at some of the benefits of good bedtime routines for toddlers and preschool kids, why they're important and how to put a bedtime routine in place.

We also share some ideas to help you establish your own bedtime routines and encourage healthy sleep habits for the future.
 

Bedtime routines for toddlers & preschool kids

 

1. Why have bedtime routines?


Toddles and preschool kids who have irregular bed times may suffer from behavioural problems such as emotional difficulties, hyperactivity and problems with peers as their natural body rhythms are disrupted.

Sleep deprivation can also kick in, which in turn can affect the way their brain matures.

Not having fixed bedtimes, accompanied by a constant sense of flux, induces a state of body and mind akin to jet lag.

This has an impact on healthy development and daily functioning for your little one. It follows that disruptions to sleep, especially if they occur at key times in your child's development, could have important lifelong impacts on their health.
 
But before you panic about being a little too laid back with your toddler's or preschooler's bedtime routine, you can relax! The researchers suggest that the effects are reversible too!

 

2. Establishing a bedtime routine

 
Establishing a bedtime routine helps to create an environment and situation conducive to sleep for your toddler or preschooler.

It’s not foolproof, but used consistently, routines help kids manage expectations and gets them into rest mode more quickly.

Make bedtime a positive and relaxing experience without TV, DVDs, i-Pads or other stimulating activities.

Choose routine elements that you know you'll be able to maintain and tolerate for the long haul.

 

3. Ideas for bedtime routines


A typical bedtime routine for toddlers and preschool kids could include one or more of the following ideas:
 
  • Making bedtime the same time every night
 
  • Having a bath or shower
       
  • Tucking them into bed
 
  • Making sure the room is quiet and at a comfortable temperature
 
  • Saying goodnight and leaving the room

Once a bedtime routine is in place, it doesn't mean it's absolutely set in stone. Routines can and should be tweaked as kids get older and situations change.

Their routine may also change if you go on holiday or your child becomes sick. Simply re-establish their routine when things are back to normal.
 

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