How to set limits for children and babies at bedtime?

Mexico City.- The habits and customs of each family are different, as are the times we are used to going to bed and the time we put our little ones to sleep.

The love and affection that we have for our children makes us carry out many actions that are not appropriate, however, we remain calm because we think that they are only momentary or temporary, so little by little we find ourselves trapped in habits that do not seem at all to us. well and they begin to cause us annoyance day by day. This is how unwanted habits are created, with this example it will be clearer:

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A concrete example

Marta is a 4-year-old girl, she likes her father Tomás to read her a story every night around 7:45 p.m. in the master bedroom.

Her father begins to read her a story with the intention that when he is finished he will take her to bed, say good night, and fall asleep at approximately 8:00 p.m.

However, Marta tends to ask for another story, which makes it more than 8:00 p.m., Tomás usually agrees to the second story, but at the end Marta asks him not to take her to her room and to let her fall asleep there.

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Tomás agrees and waits for Marta to fall asleep and plans to take her to her bed since she is asleep at 20: 30-20: 45 hours since Marta is asleep, Tomás carries her and takes her asleep to her room, but when trying to put her in her bed she wakes up and starts crying, complaining about going back to daddy’s bed or asking for another story. Meanwhile Irma, Marta’s mother has been waiting for Tomás in the dining room for dinner since 8:00 p.m.

Irma ends up having dinner alone, Tomás ends up calling Irma to calm Marta and Marta continues to complain without wanting to sleep in her room and it is now 9:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

Unwanted habits

In this example we have a normal family, but with unwanted habits that have gotten out of hand and in this type of situation is when parents do not know how to set limits to change without affecting and creating a bad feeling in their children.

The recommendation of Liliana Amaro Coach of Infantile Sleep and Founder of Zzleep My Baby, is the incorporation of limits in time and activity and by this we do not mean punishment, we simply have to plan a strategy and routine with established times and follow it at the foot of the letter without deviating.

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That is to say:

1. Establish a schedule to go to bed and stick with it.

2. Limit the number of stories or activities desired before going to sleep.

3. Determine the place of reading, which is a neutral place or in the children’s room.

4. The place where the children fall asleep should be the place where they will spend the night. Nobody likes to be transported and accommodated in a new place when they are sleeping.

5. Commit as a couple to dinner on a real schedule.

Limits are not punishments, they are rules and habits that are achieved with teaching, guidance and practice. We know that if the instructions have good communication, reason and explanation, anyone can follow them without complaint ”, Liliana Amaro concludes.

* Source: Zzleep My Baby

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