A good bedtime routine is the first step to a lifetime of healthy sleeping habits for your child. A healthy routine will prepare your child for the busy day ahead and will allow you to get a better night’s rest, lowering your stress level as well. As your child grows, his or her sleep needs may change, but maintaining quality sleep time will mean that your family will get the best out of every day.
Early techniques for establishing child sleep patterns:
Teach your infant the difference between day and night: Beyond the age of two weeks, you can begin to teach an infant the difference between night and day. Keep your infant’s environment bright and active during the day and play and interact with your baby as much as possible during daylight hours. Then, at night, dim the lights and create calm and peaceful surroundings. This will aid in a smooth transition to bedtime and restful sleep.
Put your infant down to sleep or rock him or her to sleep: Setting a bedtime routine will encourage better sleep habits. You can rock your infant to sleep with a lullaby or allow your baby to fall asleep on his or her own. Either way, your infant will learn to adapt to a consistent routine and benefit from healthy sleep on a regular basis.
Be consistent. The most important factor in establishing a healthy nighttime routine for your child is to put him or her to bed at the same time every evening.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, children up to the age of two years spend more time sleeping than awake. Newborns can sleep for up to 17 hours a day, but generally only sleep for two to four hour at a time.