Ask parents about the child's bedtime routine, no matter what age
the child is. What does the child do before going to sleep at naps
and at night time? Follow the usual sleeping routine so that the
child feels more secure and can sleep easier.
Younger infants generally sleep when they are tired. Some infants
have difficulty relaxing and settling to sleep. Some infants get
"over-tired" and then have trouble sleeping. It is really
important to get to know the infant by asking a lot of questions
and watching carefully to see what helps the infant calm down.
Older infants usually have a "routine" something
that the parent does each time the child is put to sleep. Ask the
parent first, and then try other calming techniques to help the
infant go to sleep:
- Play soft, calm music.
- Gently pat on the back and hum.
- If the child cries a little bit, but remains laying on the bed,
try being quiet in the room or leave quietly. Do not let the child
cry for more than just a few minutes before you go in and help.
If the child stands up or cries a lot, help the child relax and
settle down to sleep.
It is not always easy to put an infant to sleep. Do not be surprised
if it takes a great deal of time.
- Ask the parent what the "routine" is how the
parent puts the child to sleep.
- Toddlers usually like to play more than they like to sleep.
Make sure you help the child calm down first by reading books
or laying down and telling a story.
- Generally toddlers do not need to "cry" before they
sleep, so make sure you help the child calm down and relax enough
- Ask the parent what the child likes to do before he or she
goes to sleep.
- Keep activities calm before naptime or going to bed. For safety
reasons, make sure you are available when the child is settling
to sleep. Preschool children can get up and may get into unsafe
- Read books, relax and play imagery games to help the preschooler
close his or her eyes. Imagine sitting by the river or watching
clouds in the sky.
- Make sure you know the parent's request for the time the child
is to be in bed, and what time the parent would like the child
to be asleep.
- Older children often like to read before they go to sleep, sometimes
they like to be read to and sometimes they like to read by themselves.
This helps them relax.
- If the child has had a very active day it might be difficult
to calm down enough to sleep. You might need to do calming activities
like listening to calm music or playing laying down games using
their imagination. For instance, imagine soaring above the clouds
what would it feel like?
- Some children might be too excited because you are there. You
might assure them that when they wake up, their parents will be
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