5 Sleep Habits You Need to Break Your Child of Now-And 1 You Don’t Have to Worry About

Sleep health is so important to child development! Check out the five bad sleep habits you need to break in your child now, plus one that you really don't have to worry about!

Raising kids is not easy and neither is dealing with their bad sleep habits.  Some things become habit before we even realize what is happening.  I admit, some things become habit because it is just easier than the alternative.  What bedtime routines should you be breaking now?  I have listed a few bad sleep habits below.  Keep reading, hopefully you are not condoning any of these!

5 Sleep Habits You Need to Break Your Child of Now

TV: TV is just a bad thing to have in a kid’s room (in my opinion).  You have a TV in a central location in your house, your child’s room should be a place she can play.  Electronics and screens should be off at bedtime (really an hour before), to allow for complete rest.  I am guilty of this.  I used to let my daughter use the iPad in bed for a bit, and then it took forever for her to fall asleep once I took it away and said it was bedtime.  Her brain was still wired from the screen.

Sippy cup or bottle: This is grounds for potential dental issues.  Dentists call this ‘bottle mouth’, it causes pitting and discoloration.  Sugars from milk or juice (even if it is watered down) sits on the teeth overnight and will rot the enamel.  You take care of your own teeth right?  Even though you might be thinking your child will lose his baby teeth, they can actually rot the adult teeth before the baby teeth even think of falling out.  Stop the sippy cup madness.

Calling your name/getting out of bed: I am in the midst of this bad sleep habits battle as we speak.  Although it seems harmless, it is really quite annoying.  I am sure you can relate with bedtime being quiet time for adults as well.  You put your child to bed and you heave a big sigh of relief, you can put your feet up and catch up on your show.   Oh but wait, hit the pause button because your child needs a glass of water.  Ok she is hydrated, back to Netflix.  As soon as you hit play, you feel a tap on your shoulder.  Stop this habit now.  Create a reward system where your child can put a sticker on a chart for every night he stays in bed.

Related: How to Get Your Older Child to Sleep in Their Bed

Bad snack habits: We know we shouldn’t give our kids caffeine too close to bed, but sending them off with an empty stomach may not be the best idea either. Obviously, you don’t want to load them up with a four-course meal an hour before bed, but consider giving your child a light healthy snack about an hour before lights out. Something as simple as a glass of milk or a piece of fruit can help hold them over until morning.

Rocking your child to sleep (every night): Before you think I am heartless and do not have a soul, hear me out.  A baby is different.  I loved rocking my babies to sleep, watching them sleep in my arms and hearing them breathe.  It can be a problem when your child will not go to sleep otherwise.  When your toddler will not go to sleep unless you rock him, it can get to be a little much.

Related: How To Get Siblings To Actually Go to Sleep in the Same Room

Sleeping in pillowcase: This is one of those sleep habits that you can let slide.  Actually my daughter does this from time to time.  I am still not sure why.  I am sure she will grow out of it.  I do not foresee her being 13 years old and sleeping inside her pillow case.  Well if she is, so be it, at least her tooth enamel is in tact.

Have you discovered you are a party to any of these bad bedtime habits?  I have come clean, so should you.  The reality is that sometimes it is easier to just give in, but we are not doing our children any good by not enforcing good bedtime behavior.  Play classical music for my daughter and she will be asleep in no time, give her the TV and you might be asleep before she is.

What have you done to make some positive changes to bad sleep habits?  Share with us the trials and triumphs of your reality!

15 thoughts on “5 Sleep Habits You Need to Break Your Child of Now-And 1 You Don’t Have to Worry About”

  1. Our days of rocking to sleep are dwindling…..not by my choice, but my girl has learned that she really likes to stretch out, and so every night is hit and miss really.
    She seams pretty relaxed about change and transitions well most times.

  2. I have three year old twins, and it doesn’t matter what I do, they just give me so much trouble about initially getting out of bed and talking. They share a room, so I’m not sure how much can be avoided. With that said, it only takes them about 30 minutes of goofiness to fall asleep. So, not too bad….

  3. Sleep? You mean some parents actually experience sleep? My kids are the worst sleepers! Your tips are great, especially about removing the TV from their bedrooms. However our problem isnt any of the above listed. Our problem is our kids are not interested in sleeping in their own beds.

  4. These are great tips! I have never had any of my kids want to sleep in a pillowcase though. They do like to sleep without pillows. I think that goes back to when they were babies and slept without anything under their head but the mattress. We do not allow television and make the older two read books before bed.

  5. I think I have to disagree. I tried to get my hubby to stop rocking our toddler. He insists. It may cost him some sleep but it’s worth the bond and memories it creates.

  6. I can agree to all of these!! I hate when my son has the TV on for bed. However, thankfully he still goes to sleep. He can’t stay awake if he’s too tired which when he’s tired, he’s normally out. Sometimes he will stay up but not very often. And he’s really not aloud to stay up as he is a cranky one! Hahaha

  7. I can relate to these! My kids especially my daughter is huge on calling out for different things especially water when she’s in bed. She also taps my shoulder with “what you doing?” as I try to enjoy the peace and quiet. Got to love parenthood LOL I really like the reward system idea. I’ll have to give it a try.

  8. Sleeping while still full is not advisable for everyone. We have to wait at least two hours after our last meal before going to bed and rest. One of the bad bedtime habits of kids usually is not brushing their teeth or not washing up to get cleaned up.

  9. I agree with not having a tv in the children’s bedroom for sure! As far as children sleeping inside of pillow cases, I had no idea that this was something some kids do. But like you said, eventually they aren’t going to fit in the pillow cases and will naturally outgrow the habit!

  10. Sleeping in a pillow case is something I don’t think my kids did. It is crazy what kids will do and try to avoid going to bed. These are great tips for breaking these habits now.

  11. Ugh, our little one isn’t so little anymore and I am still guilty of aiding and abetting some of these. We have avoided the dreaded television trap, but she is a get-out-of-bed kid for sure. There are nights that we don’t tolerate it, but there are also nights when we are just too tired to fight the battle, so we pretend not to hear her.

  12. Such amazing tips!! I totally agree with all of them! Specially the TV one. Is such a bad way to teach them about soothing themselves. They should be able to relax without noises and interruptions! The pillowcase is super funny, all my kids hug theirs tho!
    Xo,
    Dee T @HauteFrugalista
    HauteFrugalista.com

  13. Hi Tabitha,

    My kids are grown now but remember my kids would call out my name and there I went, lol. It’s so easy for us to respond in the name of peace and a good night’s sleep but these are bad habits for little ones.

    Thanks for sharing. Hope you’re having a great week!

    Cori

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