Sleeplessness

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Even with a predictable bedtime routine, some children resist going to sleep. They may cry when left alone, or they may get up frequently and want to be around parents. When putting your child to bed, speak lovingly, but inform the child, if old enough to understand, that rest is important, and you aren't coming in any more but will be right in the next room. If your child has a habit of waking up frequently in the middle of the night, first rule out any infection, teething, needing to go to the bathroom, or bad dreams. Here are some suggestions for encouraging older kids to go to bed without a fight. You can minimize conflict by allowing children to make choices, such as which pajamas to wear, which story they want read (RED) to them, and which toys they want to take to bed. Playing soft music or even a gentle massage also may be helpful. You also may want to leave a night light or the room's light on, perhaps with a dimmer switch, for reassurance.
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