Battling with Babies Over Bedtime

As any mother knows, getting your little one to go to sleep at night can be quite the battle. According to the National Sleep Foundation, as many as 70-percent of children under 10 years old may experience a sleep problem.

Doctors tell parents all the time that consistency is the key to any bedtime routine.

"If a bedtime is sprung on a child, they are much more likely to meet it with resistance," Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Kim Giuliano said. "So go through the same routine every night. Have some quiet wind-down activities, dim the lights a little bit, and most importantly don't use electronics within an hour before bedtime."

Dr. Giuliano said electronic devices stimulate your child's brain and emit light, which lowers their melatonin levels. You can also schedule a bath time or time to read a book as part of the routine.

Getting to know your child's internal body clock can help, too. Look for cues like eye-rubbing or crankiness. If you try to put them to bed too early, you may end up with some resistance.

Doctors say it is better to put together a bedtime routine sooner rather than later.

"Really by the time they're several months old, parents can start having a consistent time -- a wind-down period -- and these things can establish good sleeping habits from infancy through childhood and adolescence," Dr. Giuliano said.

Dr. Giuliano said a consistent routine typically starts about a half-hour before bedtime.


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