Get on Schedule

Working Mother, December/January 2011 | Go to article overview

Get on Schedule


got an overtired, fussy baby? a toddler who won't go to sleep? you may need a bedtime routine. Structured activities create a sense of security and safety, which can help your child head for dreamland, according to jenn berman, Psyd, author of Superbaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years.

it's best to start a sleep ritual during your child's first three months, says dr. berman-but better late than never. an effective routine is predictable, calming and consistent, ends at the same time each night and includes transitions and gentle reminders. your kid should enjoy it, too. designate a 15- to 60-minute period nightly for set activities like a bath, teeth brushing, a story and a good-night kiss. For a baby, it might be a diaper change, massage, feeding and lullaby. maintaining the same order of events will help establish a comforting routine.

of course, late meetings, last-minute deadlines and occasional date nights can make it tough to stick to a bedtime schedule. …

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