“Thoughts on books in the bed for 2 year old and 4 year old at bedtime? We started it because it tends to keep them settled and asleep in 15-30 minutes vs. wiling out with each other for much, much longer (they share a room). However, I’m curious about possible long term repercussions (ie- is this one of those sleep crutches that we are creating ourselves!). Thoughts?”
What an awesome solution to what can be a challenging sleep dynamic! Books are a great way to transition into sleep. It’s a calming activity and it doesn’t involve loud noise or bright lights (given that these books aren’t on an electronic device!). This is especially true for their age – eventually you’ll probably have to be firm on a ‘lights out’ policy. Here are just a few additional things to consider when getting the kiddos to bed.
First, make sure that the additional 15 – 30 minutes of reading time is being built into their bed time. Meaning, if you know they really should be asleep by 7pm, then putting them into bed between 6:30pm – 6:45pm is perfectly reasonable. A good way to know if your children are getting adequate sleep at night is look at their behavior in the morning. Do you have to wake them or do they wake on their own? This will be a good indicator on if their bed time is satisfactory or if you may need to inch it a little earlier. Another thing to consider is their behavior in the evening. When they start to act hyper right before bed…that’s another indication that bed time might need to be adjusted. This may or may not be an issue in your household, but it’s worth mentioning.
Second, I would consider putting in a special light bulb so that the lighting is more conducive to sleep. An example would be the SCS Nite Nite Light bulb. You can find this one on Amazon and there are others on the market as well. The main component to look for when trying to find the right lighting is to make sure it emits an amber hue which won’t disrupt their production of melatonin (a very common issue with adults and children alike).
Aside from that, it sounds like you’ve found a great solution!