Creating a Healthy Bedtime Routine for Your Child

As we prepare for a new school year, we'll share some essential tips for establishing a bedtime routine that will help our little ones sleep soundly and wake up refreshed as this can make a big difference in promoting healthy sleep habits for our kids.

First and foremost, set a consistent bedtime and routine. 
Try to keep it the same every night, even on weekends. This may become challenging when travelling or when you have guests over – but consistency is essential for reinforcing healthy sleep patterns. 

Limit sugary snacks and drinks close to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep.
A light, healthy snack like a banana or some yogurt can be a better option if your child is hungry before bed.

About an hour before bedtime, wind down with some quiet activities, like reading a book or drawing. Dim the lights and consider using a nightlight if it helps your child feel more secure. 

Avoid stimulating activities like screen time or rough play close to bedtime. These can make it harder for your child to relax. Set a specific time for electronics to be put away, ideally at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light from screens can disrupt sleep, so encourage them to relax with a book instead.

Creating a bedtime routine together can be a fun bonding experience. Let your child have a say in picking out their pajamas or a bedtime story.
Giving them some control over the routine will make them more likely to follow it.

Remember parents, be patient. It may take a few nights for the new routine to become a habit.
Be consistent and remember that a little patience goes a long way.

So, let's put these tips into practice and create a bedtime routine that will help our kids get the restful sleep they need. Sweet dreams to all the little ones out there, and to us parents too!

Dr. Melanie Suaris is a board certified pediatrician serving Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Care Center at Galloway (Kendall) Phone: 305-271-4711

Published on: 8/16/2023

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