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Bonding at Bedtime

Sleeping baby on white blanket

"Too often, families have so much going on that bedtime becomes a frantic time of finishing dinner, squeezing in baths, trying to share the news (for the first time) from that day," Dr. Dawn Huebner, a clinical psychologist and author of What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (Magination Press, 2005) explains "It is better for kids to have a half-hour or so before bedtime to connect with their parents in a positive way — to talk and play and be together."

Bedtime can get even more hectic, when you start introducing underwear at night. Some kids and parents get anxious with the thought of nighttime accidents. However, nighttime wetting is a very normal thing and nothing that can be trained; it must be outgrown. In fact, one-in-six children age 3 - 6 still sometimes wet the bed. Most of the time, nighttime wetting happens simply because the child’s bladder control isn’t mature. Just as children develop fine motor skills and language skills at different rates, they develop bladder control on their own schedules as well.

So, how do you handle your child’s nighttime wetting? Since all you can do is wait until your child’s bladder matures, using GoodNites® Bed Mats can help your child rest through the night and help you cut down on sheet changes. Visit for a coupon. In addition, below are some easy steps to help make bedtime a relaxing time.

Creating a Relaxing Bedtime

Dr. Huebner recommends turning electronics off an hour before bedtime, leaving time for a 30-minute nighttime activity that is interesting and fun without being overstimulating: a nighttime walk, a family game, a puzzle, the telling of family stories or other calming event.

Then, Dr. Huebner advises a three-part bedtime routine that she calls "shift, snug and snooze."

Shift Time


"Shift time" is the 5 or 10 minutes that provide the transition to bed — a light snack, a final hug to all the pets, washing up, etc.

If you are ready to try underwear at night, you can add GoodNites® Bed Mats to your shift time. They are a simple way to give your child restful nights and help you cut down on sheet changes.

Snug Time

Then kids climb into bed for "snug time," which can be 10 to 15 minutes of reading or talking with Mom or Dad.

Snooze Time

"Snooze time" is the last part of the bedtime routine — maybe a brief back rub or a favorite song, or a special way of saying I love you — the final two or three minutes that signals kids to close their eyes, snuggle down and fall asleep.

"The shift-snug-snooze routine helps kids feel calm and connected, rather than keyed up and hungry for parental attention — the perfect recipe for sleep," Dr. Huebner says.

Image : Getty

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Bonding at Bedtime

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