As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Strategies for Helping Your Child to Sleep Through the Night

Choose a bedtime: Choose a set bedtime that both your child and your family can consistently observe. Observe your child to see when he/she begins to physically wind down.

Establish a bedtime routine: Begin the bedtime routine 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to the set bedtime.

Include calming activities during bedtime routines: Consider activities that your child enjoys and integrate them into the bedtime routine.

Consider environmental variables: Is the temperature of the room too hot or too cold? Is the room too light or too dark? Too loud or too quiet?

Teach your child to fall asleep without a parent present: Use extra pillows or blankets to provide the same sensation of someone lying in bed with your child.

Encourage your child to remain in bed: Limit the number of times the child is allowed to get out of bed. Consider using bathroom and drink cards (one-two of each per night). Once the card has been used, the child must remain in bed the rest of the night. Feel free to click on the graphic below to save or print ‘_____’s Bedtime Pass’ for your own use. (GIF file)


Rewards for sleeping through the night: In the morning, offer your child a reward for sleeping through the night. A basket of wrapped presents from a dollar store is one inexpensive option. Praise your child for being able to stay asleep.

Establish a consistent wake time: Wake your child at the same time each day. It is important the wake time remains consistent regardless of the amount of time your child actually sleeps at night. Keep this wake time consistent through weekends too.

Eliminate naps (if age appropriate): Avoid allowing your child to sleep during the day.

Schedule physical activities throughout the day: Make arrangements for your child to engage in physical activities throughout the day. Be sure all physically strenuous activities end two to three hours prior to bedtime.

Thanks for reading,

Information from Vanderbilt University Medical Center
© Vanderbilt Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders and Drs. Malow and McGrew

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