Friday, May 1, 2009

Help Your Infant or Toddler Sleep with This Simple Bedtime Routine

The solution to your child’s sleep problems might be a bedtime routine. A new study in the journal Sleep shows that a nightly routine helps young children sleep better.

What was the routine? The first step was for mothers to give their child a bath. The second step was to give a massage to infants or apply lotion to toddlers. The third step was to engage their child in quiet activities. This might involve cuddling or singing a lullaby. Finally the mothers turned out the lights within 30 minutes of the end of the bath.

This simple, nightly routine made a big difference. Children fell asleep faster, and they had fewer and shorter night wakings. Toddlers were less likely to call out to their parents or get out of their crib or bed.

The study involved 405 children between 7 months and 3 years of age. Mothers completed a daily sleep diary that included details of their child’s sleep patterns.

Go to to get more details about how this routine helped children sleep – and improved the mood of mothers.

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