Sleep and sleepiness is controlled by a number of factors, the most important is routine. If a child learns that everything winds down and becomes ‘boring’ at a particular time, the child will start to fall asleep.
Decide what time bedtime should be. This will depend on what time you all need to be up in the morning.
Every child is different and your child may need slightly more or less sleep but here is a guide
Child aged 3-6 years old – 11 to 12 hours
Child aged 6-12 years old – 10 hours
Teenager – 9 to 9 ½ hours
Develop a routine
All children are different. Some settle very quickly into a sleep routine, others may take some time.
A bedtime routine should last for a maximum of 30 minutes. It involves dimming the lights, changing into pyjamas, brushing teeth and relaxing, maybe reading a bedtime story or talking about their day with them. Resassure and reward your child for sticking to their routine.
Avoid anything that might over stimulate your child – this is a time for winding down. Its important that your child understands that night time is when things become quieter and we go to sleep.
If your child refuses to start getting ready for bed stay calm, be firm and ensure there are no distractions; that by going to sleep they are not missing out on anything.