Why Babies Need Consistent Bedtimes

Michelle Carlton

In a world full of “But I just don’t wanna go to bed!” and “Just one more story—please?” it may seem impossible to follow regular bedtime habits. But research shows the results are worth the effort. A consistent bedtime routine helps a child fall asleep faster, wake up fewer times during the night (and for shorter periods), and sleep longer, according to a study from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Even more impressive? It boosts Mom’s mood, too. For the 405 infants and toddlers in the study, the bedtime routine lasted 30 minutes and involved a bath, a massage or the application of baby lotion, and a quiet, restful time (such as cuddling or singing). Not only did the routine improve the children’s sleep patterns, but it also led to improved morning moods for the toddlers and, overall, happier, more relaxed moods for mothers.

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