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The Go-To Mom's 8 Sleeping Solutions for Tired Kids and Parents (page 2)

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Updated on Jan 26, 2011

It’s never too early to start a bedtime routine. From the time a baby comes home from the hospital have a relaxing routine to set the tone for sleep. For example, every night could consist of bath time, pajamas and story time before turning out the lights. You can repeat a portion of this routine during the daytime for naps.

Keep the temperature just right. Small children have a harder time regulating their own body temperature and, babies especially, can have difficulty falling and staying asleep if they're too hot or too cold. Parents don’t often realize that the temperature of the room is keeping their kids from getting good sleep. And if your kids are in a bedroom that's a little cooler or warmer than the rest of the house, adjust their sleepwear accordingly. If your AC is on high in the middle of the summer, it’s okay to put your child in warm pajamas to keep him cozy through the night!

Set the sleeping mood. When children are trying to sleep even the tiniest distraction can keep them up. Any extra noise, light, or small discomfort can deter them from drifting off to dreamland. Make sure that your child’s sleep environment is snug, cozy, and dark. Invest in room darkening shades, a white noise machine, soft blankets, a nightlight—anything to make their sleep time more inviting.

For daytime naps and summer days where the light hangs around long past bedtime, make sure that you have a way to block light from entering your child’s room.

Be patient. The most important thing is that parents manage their expectations. When it comes down to it, you can’t force kids to sleep. All you can do is set them up for success. Make sure they get some sort of break during the day, and the rest will come. And remember that you're not alone. There are plenty of parents out there, including myself, who struggle to get their kids to sleep. Have patience, stick with it and you’ll both be having good nights and great days before you know it.

Kimberley is a national child development expert and a licensed family and child therapist specializing in working with children newborn to six years old.

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