Getting your child to sleep early as a working parent

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Getting your child to sleep early as a working parent

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So when we're working parents, and we come home at 7, and we have say a 3 and a 5 year old, who need to go to bed probably at 8, this is a challenge for us as parents. Because our children really do need sleep, and they need enough sleep to help them manage their behavior during the day, and most of all to learn, because so many important things are happening when we're sleeping. So I really focus with parents on can we make a nice middle ground? So as an example if your child is in daycare or at home with a nanny, can the daycare provider feed them dinner so that when you get home, you can just have some quality connection time. And most parents are relieved to hear that to really make significant connection time, you only really need 20 minutes being on the floor one on one not being on the phone, not listening to the news, quiet play. So if we come home from work, and we have that 20 minute connection time, then there's less push and pull between ourselves and our stress and guilt and our children wanting that connection time. And bedtime ends up going much more smoothly. Because it's really about connecting and bath and books and calm, which again is more connection. So it's much easier for them to go to bed at a reasonable time and for us to feel like we had that special time with them before and we can feel better about going right into bedtime when we get home from work.

See Kim West, LCSW-C's video on Getting your child to sleep early as a working parent...

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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