Bedtime: Sleep and Child

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When putting a toddler to bed, there are a number of complex steps if one wishes to be successful. There is the preparation, including dressing the child in its pajamas. There is the reading of the story, which must be done quickly, but with compassion and creativity. There is also the retrieval of the drink, which can deteriorate into a ploy to stay up quickly if not dealt with properly. Then there is the most difficult part, the battle to keep the child in bed without having to physically restrain him into it. If done properly, bedtime can be a peaceful time, a quiet ending to a long day. It is only when one does not follow the rules of engagement that bedtime can deteriorate into a battle for the ages. In preparing for bedtime, one must be as strict as during the actual act for fear of losing control and allowing the whole thing to turn into a circus before it has even begun. Pajamas can come in many shapes and sizes, including the outfit he or she wore during that day so long as it is clean and will keep them warm or cool enough as they sleep. It is at this point acceptable to ask for the child’s input into the pajama choice, however if they do not choose quickly it is all right to put them aside and make the decision one’s self. The pajama battle is one based not in an effort to keep your little nudist clothed, but in an effort to make sure the child remains warm or cool enough throughout the night. Do not worry if he or she is not matching or if the clothes they are wearing fall under the technical category of pajamas or not. There are bigger battles that will come up as the night progresses and as they say “don’t sweat the small stuff” (unknown). After the child is appropriately clothed, it is time to read one or two stories. The child should not be allowed to con more than a couple of short stories or one slightly longer one. The story is an important bonding time between parent and child....
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