A Simple Tweak that will Transform your Child's Behavior - MumsVillage

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Elizabeth Gilbert

A Simple Tweak that will Transform your Child’s Behavior

Do you want to minimize tantrums? Streamline weaning? Reduce mood swings and tears in toddlers? Boost your kindergartener’s confidence? Optimize your primary school kid’s performance?

Good news! Consistency may be the “special sauce” to parenthood. From temper tantrums to learning to eat broccoli, children depend on stable routines for success in many different parts of their lives. New research  finds that a regular bedtime during early childhood can have significant positive impact on a child’s behavior. Now that Nairobi kids are back to school, this information can help parents set them up for success.

Behaviors and Sleep

  • Sleep schedules are clearly shaped by many influences
  • Lack of sleep influences behavior challenges
  • Poor sleep and behavior: chicken or the egg?
  • Without bed routine, disrupt circadian rhythm
  • Without bed routine, more sleep deprivation

Pediatrics Study on Bedtime

  • Eleven thousand children tracked from 9 months of age up to age 7 years
  • Charted children’s bedtime and behavior scores
  • Children without regular bedtime had more behavior problems
  • Dose dependent response: the worse the routines, the worse the scores
  • Results were reversible: If routines improved, behaviors improved too.

What Parents Need To Know

  • Setting regular bedtime early in childhood is important
  • Having no routine disrupts circadian rhythm and sleep deprivation
  • Don’t have a television in the bedroom
  • Most children under age 12 naturally get tired around 8 p.m.

Dr. Sidney J. Nesbitt, Founder of Muthaiga Pediatrics has been based at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital since 1998. Muthaiga Pediatrics provides provides quality pediatric care in the following areas: Tropical diseases, medical emergencies, newborn delivery attendance, well child checks and assessment for developmental problems including ADHD. Dr Nesbitt is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics UK, American Academy of Pediatrics and a Member of the Kenya Medical Practitioners & Dentists Board. 

Get more expert advice from Nairobi Pediatrician Dr Sidney Nesbitt.


Comment in the box below –  What does your child’s bedtime routine involve?