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Does a bedtime routine have to be regimented?

Updated: May 28, 2019

As a sleep consultant, a large part of what I do is to teach my clients the importance of a bedtime routine and how it can revolutionise your child's sleep. But many ask: Does it have to be a boring, structured part of any sleep situation?

Me playing with my children in the garden after a nature treasure hunt.

The simple answer to this is...No!

Here are my steps to creating the best routine:

- Do the same thing, in the same order, every night! Teach your children what to expect is coming next - this will help avoid those inevitable battles.

- Don't enter negotiations: "One more minute in the bath," "Just one more page/book," may seem like simple requests but they may start that battle ground of your child thinking that they can battle you on other parts of the routines too - in the day and the night!

- Have fun! Splash in the bath, play hide and seek with pyjamas (on your terms) and engage in exciting (not scary) books - you're not trying to get them to sleep, just ready for bed.

- Have your older child get themselves into bed and tuck themselves in - "What a big boy/girl you are?"

Add your favourite parts of your bedtime routine or those battles that you would like advice on below!

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