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Focus on Family: Back to school sleep tips

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Samantha Kurtzman-Counter
The Mother Company
www.themotherco.com

Tips:

Routine
Keep the same routine every night.  Same time, same order of things. For instance: Bathroom/brush teeth/wash hands/face then 1 story, 1 song, 1 quick snuggle - the end.

Consistency
Repeat that routine every night at the same time. You might even announce. "First this, then that” to reinforce the routine of it.

Independence
Encouraging children to follow this routine, and do many of the steps on their own will lead to a sense of responsibility, pride and independence - the opposite of battles.  It will also lighten the parents’ load, making it a more pleasant experience for all.

Connection
Make sure to connect emotionally with your child before he/she sleeps because many children perceive sleeping as a time of separation and if you haven’t connected before bedtime, now is the time to fill the love bank.  This is CRUCIAL in avoiding battles.  You child will start to look forward to bedtime if they know they will have your undivided attention during a snuggle.

What NOT to do in trying to avoid bedtime battles:

Bring up stressful or emotional topics.

Let them watch TV/play on devices within 30 minutes of bedtime

Put them to bed too late - when they’re overly tired

Change things up every night - lay with them till they’re asleep one night and then tuck them in and leave the next.