Magazine article Working Mother

Getting Kids to Stay Asleep

Magazine article Working Mother

Getting Kids to Stay Asleep

Article excerpt

The children have been in bed for hours when you hear the patter of little feet making a beeline for your bedroom. "Can I sleep with you?" your kindergartner pleads. Maybe just this once, you think. "Don't do it," urges Jennifer Chen Hopkins, MD, a sleep disorders specialist. "It's normal for children to wake up several times during the night." Help them learn to get back to sleep on their own, or no one's going to get a good night's rest.

First, set go-to-sleep routines, such as story, hugs, lights out by 8:30 and no getting up after. Present a united front: If Mom is strict about sleep but Dad's a softy who'll turn on the TV to "help," your child may try to navigate around Mom. Next, put the rules into play by gradually withdrawing your presence. Respond to a child who calls out with a hug and a quick "It's okay"-no lights-and be as boring as possible. "You want to comfort a child but not reward this behavior," Dr. …

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