Why Is A Bedtime Routine Important For A Child?

Why Is A Bedtime Routine Important For A Child?

Sleep is vital to children of all ages. Whether they are a newborn or an eight year old, sleep and the quality of sleep a child gets can affect so many different aspects of their lives. Quality sleep can affect child development and growth, their behavior, learning capabilities, mood, and immune system among many other things. As kids grow, their sleep behaviors change and this can impact their sleep quality. Some kids can have a hard time sleeping, especially at night and can even develop sleep problems. A great way to combat this is having an established bedtime routine, this can help signal to your child that it’s time for bed.

A bedtime routine is a set of tasks or activities that are done to help children wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep. You can start a bedtime routine during the earliest days of your child’s life. It doesn’t have to be long and complex, a bedtime routine is simply a set of tasks that you do each time get your child ready for sleep. Teaching your child good sleep habits and the cues to look for when it’s bedtime helps their body wind down and ultimately helps them fall asleep easier. This study goes in depth about bedtime routines and why they are important. I’ve linked it here for your information purposes; it is a long, but fascinating read that really dives into the science behind bedtime routines. 

A sample bedtime routine includes:
  • Bath (on bath nights)
  • Change into pajamas and swaddle or sleep sack 
  • Feed
  • Read books
  • Sing song and cuddle 
  • Place into sleep space
Why Is A Bedtime Routine Important For A Child?

Why Is A Bedtime Routine Important For A Child?

Earlier Bedtime:

Research has shown that kids who follow a bedtime routine fall asleep earlier, sleep longer and have less middle of the night wakeups. Having an early bedtime for your child ensures that your giving them ample time to complete their sleep time routine, which in turn allows them to get the adequate amount of sleep needed for their growth and development.

Teaches self care habits:

Self care is so important for everyone, whether you’re a child or a grownup, taking the time to do something for yourself is so important. Incorporating self care into your child’s bedtime routine is a great way to teach them the importance of taking care of yourself. Self care for young children can look like reading a book or brushing teeth; it can even be as simple as taking a few minutes to talk about your favorite part of the day as you get ready for bed.

Parent/child bonding:

The time spent with your child as they get ready for bed can be so special. Talking about the day, snuggling or rocking before bed, reading a story or even brushing your teeth together are huge for bonding with your child. Taking the time to slow down and really focus on your child has huge positive benefits for both of you. 

Sense of stability and security:

Children THRIVE on routine. Setting up and sticking to a basic routine has huge positive effects on your child. When they follow a routine, they more or less know what to expect and this gives them a huge sense of security and helps them feel comfortable in their environment. (This is huge when traveling!) If a child knows that their routine is feed, brush teeth, story, snuggle and into bed, they know what’s going to happen so when it’s time to lay them down in their crib, it is SO much easier on you as the parent to leave the room! They know it’s bedtime and they’ll go to sleep. There’s not the constant battle of crying or trying to get out of bed several times. If you’re struggling with this part of bedtime, I can help!!

Positive effect on mood and behavior:

It has been proven that having a bedtime routine has huge benefits for children’s behavior and mood. Kids who know what to expect each night are overall happier and more positive because they know and can anticipate what is to come. A study found that kids who do not have a set bedtime routine or a regular bedtime, had increased emotional and behavioral difficulties and were less likely to engage in parent-child reading activities and mealtimes. 

As I mentioned above, sleep is vital to your child’s wellbeing. A basic bedtime routine is instrumental in helping your child get a good night’s rest. Remember that their routine doesn’t need to be long and complex, it doesn’t have to have 10 steps and include a bath every time (but it can if you want!!) Find a routine that works for you and your family and stick with it. The payoff will be a huge benefit for everyone!

Why Is A Bedtime Routine Important For A Child?

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