Bedtime routines: whether your kid is six weeks or sixteen, PLEASE tell us they have one. A 2009 study in Sleep magazine found that bedtime routines- regardless of what they even were- improved not only children’s sleep but “maternal mood” as well. That’s right: do it for you.
In this episode, we break down bedtimes by age groups and offer solutions to getting to lights-out a little sooner, discussing topics including
- when to start sleep training
- why under-rested kids have even more trouble falling asleep
- why routines are important even for babies
- why older kids should be allowed to establish their own bedtime routines, even if their individually tucking in eighteen separate stuffed animals makes YOU a little crazy
- the importance of introducing dark and silent sleep spaces at an early age
- why Margaret goes by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to “Brush, Book, Bed”
Here’s links to some articles and studies discussed in this episode:
Parents: How to Develop Bedtime Routines
Deena Blanchard for Momtastic: How To Stick To Your Kid’s Bedtime Routine
Tim Herrera for NYT Smarter Living: Feeling Groggy? Here’s How to Stop Robbing Yourself of Sleep
For parents of teenagers, this 2017 study from Sleep Health is fascinating reading: it suggests the more face-to-face interactions adolescents have (as opposed to screen time), the higher their “sleep efficiency.”
For infants and toddlers, we think Dr. Harvey Karp has the best advice and we recommend his books highly…
And if your grade-schooler has a hard time falling asleep, Amy swears by Audible- her fourth grader listens to books on tape every night (on a sleep timer!) Use our link to get a free trial: audibletrial.com/whatfreshhell.
How are the bedtime routines going at your house? What works for you to get the lights out on time? Tell us in the comments!
As a brief addendum, in this episode Margaret and Amy disagree over whether What Lies Beneath stars Harrison Ford or Michael J. Fox. It is indeed Harrison Ford, and the movie Amy was thinking of was The Frighteners. Either way, major Oldilocks Alert, and please show neither of these movies to any child with whom you wish to establish a bedtime routine. Learn from our mistakes.