I'm a sleep expert & I swear by 5 tips to get your child into a good bedtime routine – they'll pass out in seconds | The Sun
A SLEEP expert has listed five easy tips to drastically change your kid's bedtime routine.
According to a recent study by furniture retailer DFS, most parents spend over 30 minutes desperately trying to get their children to go to bed.
The 2,000 UK parents who took part in the survey also stated that their children, aged between five and 12, would struggle to fall asleep due to high exposure to TV and laptop.
If this reminds you of your evenings, you're not alone – and you're wasting a whopping four hours each week on your child's bedtime regime.
Alarmed by the findings, one whizz, Lucy Shrimpton, founder of The Sleep Nanny, spoke exclusively to Fabulous and shared her top sleep tips.
''The average bedtime of 5-12 year olds, as well as the time they actually fall asleep, revealed in this study is later than ideal.
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''I recommend aiming for 11 hours of night sleep until a child is roughly 8-10 years old, at which point they might reduce to 10 hours on average.''
Here, Lucy, a mum herself, has shared her advice…
Keep bedrooms cool and calm
''We sleep better when it is dark, cool, and calm, so ensuring this is true for your little one’s bedroom is a great place to start.
''Removing stimulating lights, mobiles, toys and electronics will make the environment calmer and easier for the brain to send the messages to feel sleepy.''
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Lucy added: ''When it comes to temperature, a room that is too hot or too cold can make falling asleep difficult, around 18 degrees centigrade is optimal for sleep.''
Break out activity from the bedroom
''Move away from the daytime environment and begin with any bathroom activity, as this shows that the bedtime routine is starting and prepares the child for sleep time ahead,'' the guru said.
Once the kid is done brushing teeth, it's important to go straight to the bedroom.
''Do not be tempted to take your child downstairs again to read their bedtime story or to get a drink, even if they ask for this specifically.''
Stay on top of ‘second-wind’
According to Lucy, the ‘second-wind’ is when you spot your little one suddenly having endless bursts of energy even when they're knackered.
''Being over-tired makes it harder to fall asleep. Unfortunately, many kids will not give away clues as to when they are tired, leaving it up to us as adults to know roughly how long they ought to be awake in any one stretch.''
Although this will vary depending on your child and their age, Lucy advised to stick to for 11 hours of sleep each night until a child is roughly 8-10 years old, at which point they might reduce to 10 hours on average.
Keep your messaging consistent
As with any parenting aspect, it's key to give a consistent message to our little ones, Lucy said.
''If we say or suggest something is a ‘no’ several times and then, when we feel like an easier ride, we give in and say ‘yes’, this suggests that the outcome is in fact an option.
''Your child will learn that holding out longer, crying harder, nagging and other forms of communicating with you, will eventually get them that ‘yes’.''
To avoid any drama and tantrums, the mum advised to set boundaries – and that doesn't necessarily mean being strict.
''Right from the early weeks, you can set safe, happy, and loving boundaries with your children to shape healthy sleep and a secure attachment.
''The reality is, regardless of whether they like the answer or outcome, little ones feel safer and more secure with a caregiver who means what they say, is unwavering in their response, and can be relied upon to deliver every time.''
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Align your parenting with their personality
''Pay attention to what does and doesn’t work both at bedtime and when parenting more generally.
''If you are finding that tried and tested techniques are no longer effective on your child, then do some research into developmental and behavioural changes that they may be experiencing based on their age.''
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