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Desperate for your kids to sleep through the night? Guru Jo Frost shares her kip tips… – Mail Online

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If you’re as tired as I am it won’t come as any surprise to hear that exhausted new parents lose out on over 650 hours of sleep a year.

New research from children’s reading charity BookTrust reveals new parents are completely sleep deprived in the child’s first few years, losing out on a whopping 657 hours per year, which equates to almost four weeks of less sleep a year. No wonder we’re so knackered!

 

BookTrust’s annual Bath, Book, Bed campaign aims to solve this problems in three easy steps, encouraging parents to stick to a simple bedtime routine and asking families to share stories as a regular part of bedtime to help their little ones sleep soundly. 

Jo Frost, worldwide parenting expert and BookTrust Ambassador said: “BookTrust’s Bath, Book, Bed campaign is a really straightforward approach to tackling a problem that most parents with young children face – the bedtime battle. Bedtime routines do not need to be complicated for especially-tired parents on their last legs. Implementing healthy sleeping habits, and a consistent bedtime routine will not only calm down the child and parents but, provide an environment so that both child and parent can read together helping them both relax and wind down. Meaning everyone will be well-rested, happier and healthier.” 

Jo Frost’s Top Tips For A Good Bedtime Routine…

We all know it’s not always that easy! Many parents and carers have mastered a bedtime ritual, but find that keeping their little ones tucked in can be tricky. So what are the small steps we can take to make sure that our children are getting a good night’s sleep?

Well, the number one question I always ask parents and carers is, ‘What focused time did you spend with your child before you started putting them to bed?’ ‘Focused’ is the important word, as many people come home feeling rushed to juggle teatime and the bedtime routine. They don’t realise they’re doing it, but they tend to go into auto-pilot which can make them seem almost robotic and certainly not present in the moment. Children can sense this, and with technology in the mix it can all create a rather detached atmosphere before saying good night.

Older children want the breathing space to be able to talk about, say, a concern they have or something that was troubling during a school day. And this time also helps us to emotionally check in with our children, to reassure and iron out any concerns they may have, and to remind them that we are there to protect them and help them solve any challenges that may arise.

Some children, through no fault of their own, have become used to the pattern of knowing exactly when to sneak into their parents’ or carers’ bedroom when we are just too exhausted to spend any time taking them back to bed, worried that it will steal our precious moments of quality sleep. And we often don’t realise that we are sending our children mixed messages over the breakfast table the next morning by telling them that they really must try and stay in their own bed.

For other children, it’s the brilliance of their vivid imaginations turning every dark shape into a fictional character from outer space, or a plea that they are still hungry even though a hot family meal was served at dinner time.

But whatever hurdles you face putting older children to bed, the one thing I can assure you is that as long as we are mindful about creating an environment that is soothing and peaceful to the mind and their little bodies, we will help them get some quality slumber. We must persevere and be consistent and relentless in our goal to shape good sleeping habits, but that must be with patience and love even when we are feeling tested. For I have a little secret… a child who feels safe, loved and protected is a child who will sleep soundly.

Small Talk’s speech boosting baby books Bedtime happens to follow a baby through a bath, book and bed routine! It’s out now on Amazon  

STBedtime 9781447276920

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