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


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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