Nighttime Routines, Cosleeping Transitions, and More
This Principle is not complete without reading API's Eight Principles of Parenting Introduction -- important information for understanding the context API's Principles of Parenting.
Nighttime parenting doesn't end when a child sleeps through the night for the first time. Some children continue to cosleep well into their elementary years while others move on to their own room. When thinking about changing the nighttime routine as your child grows, follow her cues.
- Keep in mind that sleep routines change as the child grows and matures. Keep your sense of humor and remain flexible
- Help your child learn to trust her body when she is tired by recognizing the signs of tiredness, and not forcing her to sleep when she is not tired, or keeping her awake when she is tired, just for the sake of a routine
- When the time comes for a child to transition to her own bed, make sure that the transition is gentle and that parents respond to any feelings of fear or upset experienced by the child
- Young children who have their own bed often go to sleep more willingly when parents lie down with them in their bed until they are very drowsy or until they go to sleep. Children outgrow this need when they are developmentally ready and will happily go to sleep on their own
- Older children may still enjoy a brief snuggle time with parents before bed
Read more about Kids and Sleep via the Links Below
- Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally - One of API's Eight Principles of Parenting
- Read Nighttime Parenting and the Anxious Child on APtly Said (blog)
- Discuss Kids and Sleep on the API Forums
The Attached Family
API's The Attached Family online magazine, updated weekly with articles on a variety of topics, is an extension of the quarterly The Attached Family print magazine. The following articles on Kids and Sleep are accessible at no cost on The Attached Family online magazine. Please consider joining API to help support API's ability to continue providing this information.
In addition to the many resources available here on the Attachment Parenting International website, we are including valuable information on Principle-specific topics located on other websites. Please note that API has no control over the content available on these external sites.
- 8 Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know - Ask Dr. Sears
- Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone - James J. McKenna Ph.D.
- Why babies should never sleep alone: A review of the co-sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS, bedsharing and breast feeding (PDF) - James J. McKenna and Thomas McDade
- Nighttime fears in children: A guide for the science-minded parent - Parenting Science
- More Than Monsters: Could Your Child Have Night Blindness? - iParenting
- Children 'should sleep with parents until they're five' - Times Online