Will my daughter grow out of needing an adult to help her sleep?

Getting your kids to fall asleep on their own can be tricky. Here's how to create a new bedtime routine.

Photo: mediaphoto/iStockphoto

Q: My six-year-old can’t fall asleep unless an adult lays down with her at bedtime for 20 minutes. Will she ever grow out of this?

A: Yes, she may grow out of it, but you can create a new bedtime routine now. Start by sitting in your child’s bedroom for 10 minutes before bed, then leave the room, assuring her that you will be back in two minutes. If she’s not asleep when you return, sit with her for five minutes, then leave for two minutes, and repeat this pattern until she falls asleep on her own. After two weeks with this routine, it usually works. I do think it’s healthy to spend time with your children before bed, even into the teen years — it’s a great way to discuss the day and stay connected. But your time together should not be dictated by a tough bedtime routine.

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