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toddlermonitor SLEEP EXPERT SERIES: Why building a healthy sleep routine is important

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toddlermonitor SLEEP EXPERT SERIES: Why building a healthy sleep routine is important

OUR SLEEP EXPERT SERIES WITH MAGGIE MOORE HELPS YOU BUILD A HEALTHY SLEEP ROUTINE

Children thrive on routines and boundaries. 

Research has shown a consistent bedtime routine is associated with better sleep outcomes, including earlier bedtimes, shorter sleep onset latency, reduced night wakings and increased sleep durations.  

Having a consistent nap and bedtime routine can also help child feel more safe and secure. By using the same routine each sleep period, it allows children to have less separation anxiety at bedtime because they always know what is coming next. 

For the past almost four years I have been reading the same book every night before bed. For just as long, I have been singing the same song to him before naps. 

Anyone who watches him does the same exact routine as my husband and I. These two things, along with others from his routine, have become great cues as to what is coming next.  

HOW TO BUILD A NAP ROUTINE 

The earlier we start building routines into our sleep periods, the better. But it is never too late to start!  

Your nap routine should not be as long as the bedtime routine. Even if your little one is done napping, you can transition the routine into a quiet time routine.  

Nap routines are typically 10 to 15 minutes.  

Make sure your little one uses the restroom (if they are potty trained) before nap time so this does not become a reason to delay napping or cause a distraction. If your toddler is in a big kid bed, I recommend using the toddlermonitor as a way to deter him/her from getting out of bed. 

Make using the toddlermonitor fun by naming it and putting it to “bed” on the door. 

Sing one or two songs before nap/quiet time and be sure to go over the nap time rules so your toddler knows what is expected of him/her. 

An example would be we lay here quietly and try to fall asleep. We don’t get out of bed. 

Reviewing them before each sleep period helps continue those boundaries do them but be sure you are using rules that work for your family.  

HOW TO BUILD A BEDTIME ROUTINE

Bedtime routine tends to be a little longer – typically 30 minutes. 

Be sure you are limiting TV and screen time at least an hour before bedtime, ideally an hour and half before bed.  

A bath is a good way to distinguish between nap and bedtime routine. It also allows your toddler to be nice and clean from the day of playing! 

If your toddler is in a big kid bed, I recommend using the toddlermonitor as a way to deter him/her from getting out of bed.  

Make using the toddlermonitor fun by naming it and putting it to “bed” on the door.

Reading is very important for brain development, so I recommend always having time to read for at least 10 minutes! Allow your child to help pick the books for the night but try to limit them to three. Have the last book be the same every night as this is another great built in cue.  

The important thing when building a solid routine for nap and bedtime is that each piece works for your family! 

If you are still struggling with independent sleep or getting your child on a good schedule, be sure to check out my guides

About Maggie 

Maggie Moore is the Founder and Head Sleeper at Moore Sleep. She is a certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Family Sleep Institute, which means her sole focus and objective is getting your baby on a healthy sleep schedule so the whole family can get the sleep they need.
Like many parents, Maggie and her husband struggled with getting their son on a healthy sleep schedule and he was unable to fall asleep independently. As a result, her family was losing precious sleep every night. 

Maggie became a firm believer when, shortly after hiring a certified pediatric sleep consultant, her son began sleeping independently at bed and nap times. It was a turning point that resulted in not only restful nights, but waking up fully rested with the energy to face the day. Maggie knew right away she wanted to become a certified consultant herself so she could help other families struggling to get the sleep they need. 

Maggie and her family reside in Southern Indiana (near Louisville, KY). She received her bachelors in Journalism and a second concentration in Communications & Culture from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Follow Maggie on Facebook and Instagram

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