Create a Comfortable Environment
Your child is more likely to stay in bed if she feels safe and happy in her room. To make it more of a haven, listen to her decorating suggestions, and encourage her attachment to a special blanket or lovey. It's easier for some kids to fall asleep while listening to soft music. In addition, make sure the room isn't too hot or cold. And because you don't want bedtime to seem like a punishment to your child, choose a location other than her room for time-outs.
Although your child will probably resist a stricter routine at first, remind yourself that evenings are often the ideal time to develop special family rituals. In the film The Cider House Rules, the doctor at the orphanage repeats the same phrase to the children every night: "Good night, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England." One night, a boy asks, "Why does Dr. Larch say that every night?" Another replies, "He does it because we like it." Kids cherish these kinds of traditions and may even use them with their own children someday.
Copyright© 2004. Reprinted with permission from the June 2000 issue of Parents magazine.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.