Your to-do list for easy, fuss-free bedtimes
__ Make a bedtime plan that maps out exactly what will happen each evening, including the order of events and, for your reference, start and finish times.
__ Share the plan with your family (don’t forget dad), verbally and through pictures, if necessary.
__ Make a “sleep manners” chart to lay out the rules and reward good sleep behavior.
__ Remove anxiety by having your child play in her room often.
__ Help your child wind down by turning off the electronics and hour prior to bedtime and avoiding caffeine in the evening (and consider hidden sources like chocolate milk or soda).
__ Set the scene with soft lighting and reduced noise.
__ Read or talk quietly with your child to ease her into the sleepy zone and to give her guaranteed one-on-one time with you.
__ Avoid “bad thoughts” by getting your child talking and thinking about happy memories or non-scary subjects that interest her.
__ Be consistent 7 days a week, with times, the order of events and in your response to problems.
__ Comfort your child if he’s scared, but stay within your rules.
__ If she leaves the room after bedtime, quietly lead her back to bed with minimal interaction (rinse and repeat).