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Your 8 1/2-year-old: Good sleep habits

Your 8 1/2-year-old: Good sleep habits


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Your 8-year-old now

Although sleep disturbances happen much less often during the school years than they did in early childhood, they can happen. Illness is one common cause. Another is emotional upset (fear over a scary movie, an impending divorce, a fight with a friend). Your child carries his turbulent moods into bed.

If waking up is becoming a habit for your child, try to get at the reason. Simply talking about stresses can be a helpful release.

A number of things constitute good sleep habits. A refresher:

  • no roughhousing before bed
  • a warm bath to relax
  • reading, snuggling, and listening to soft music (no rock or live radio) before bed
  • a cool room – turn down the heat a few degrees at night and put a spare blanket at the foot of the bed in case your child gets chilly
  • a dark room – make sure no light comes through the curtains
  • if there's still a night light in your child's room, try weaning him off of it
  • white noise – some doctors swear by it
  • quiet – the entire household should start toning down when the first kids hit the hay

Your life now

Have you taken photos or video of everything in your home? It can be an important record for the insurance company in the event of a disaster.

Include your child's key belongings, such as electronic toys or play equipment. Make a list of each item, where you bought it, and what you paid for it. It's a big job, but you'll be happy you did it if you ever need to make a claim. Store the records in your safety deposit box or at a friend or relative's house. It's a good idea to review annually, such as each New Year's.

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