It makes sense: A tranquil, soothing environment will help your child feel at ease, and as a result, fall asleep faster than a busy one. A nightlight or sound machine might help your child feel more secure. Don't forget your child's favorite toy, blanket or stuffed animal. Failing to have these can be a bedtime deal-breaker!
In some families, a typical bedtime routine includes a taking a bath, eating a snack, brushing teeth and reading a story before lights out. Others choose a video, teeth-brushing and cuddle time. Once children know what to expect each evening, they become more comfortable with the process and fight it less.
Mom Jenn Marquis lets her daughter decide which pajamas to wear or which stories to read. "This way, she gets to be part of the process and understands that, after everything else, it's time to get in bed and shut her eyes," says Jenn.
Not only does reading together benefit your child's development, but it's also a great way to wind down after a busy day. Want a fun twist on the bedtime story? Turn up your imagination and make up your own fairy tale -- with your little one as the star.
Stick to your routine and make some rules. For instance, during storytime, tell your child how many books you'll read. As you're reading, remind your child how many more minutes or stories before the lights go off so he's not surprised when you leave the room. Remember, you're in charge.
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