Bedtime best practice: experts settle on six key steps for getting kids to sleep

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Brushing teeth, reading and avoiding food and screens all part of consensus advice

It is the holy grail of parenthood: a scientific consensus on the perfect bedtime routine for those young children who discover an irrepressible lust for life just at the moment when daylight wanes and duvets (should) beckon.

A Medical Research Council-funded study into the only roadmap that really matters to parents of children aged two to eight has identified six key goals and a scoring system that, when bedtimes descend once again into anarchy, flags the phases that parents are missing.

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