Getting your toddler to bed is often not easy. Things like crying out for mommy and daddy, fear of the dark, monster under the bed and the need for a bit more water can severely interfere with a good night’s sleep, both child’s and parent’s. Here are some simple ways to address some common sleep problems your toddler might have.
Your Child Keeps Getting Out of Bed
If your kid keeps getting out of bed, he or she probably doesn’t want to sleep. The best way to address this is to create a simple and relaxing pre-bed ritual that will help your child calm down and unwind. Your pre-bed ritual should last around 30 minutes, and it should include three to five different activities, such as taking a bath, reading a story and give kisses for a good night. It is very important to do the same activities in the same order and roughly at the same time.
Keep in mind that your bedtime ritual shouldn’t include any stimulating activities such as playing games or watching TV. Soothing activities such as a warm bath or listening to lullabies will help your kid unwind and become sleepy. When establishing a bedtime routine, you must have a lot of patience. Explain to your child why he must go to bed to sleep and give him a little sense of control. For example, never order your child to go to bed. Offer him choices such as to pick his favorite toy or pajamas.
The best way to make your kid to listens to you is to talk to him and try to understand his needs. Ignoring your child’s needs, forcing him to go to bed or not listening to him will only make things worse for both of you.
Your Child is Taking Too Long to Fall Asleep
If your child is taking too long to fall asleep, your sleep routine is probably not good. Frequent late naps could also be to blame. A regular bedtime is necessary to transition your child from busy day to restful slumber successfully. Keep in mind that sudden change in your kid’s schedule, such as frequent naps can affect sleep.
If your child still takes naps, make sure you schedule them properly. Morning nap shouldn’t be longer than 45 minutes, and it should be around 10 am. The afternoon nap should be around 1 pm, and it shouldn’t last more than 2 hours. If your toddler naps once a day, it is best to nap after lunch, around 1:30 pm. This nap shouldn’t last more than 2 hours.
If your kid still can’t fall asleep at night, make sure he is comfortable and warm. When kids complain their bed isn’t comfortable, parents often don’t take them seriously. If you child frequently complains about the same thing, they are telling the truth. To provide maximum comfort and support, your kid’s mattress shouldn’t be more than seven years old.
Your Child Has Fears and Nightmares
Since your child’s imagination is developing, it may invent things such as monsters in the dark or under the bed. Since this is also a time when a child starts dreaming, it may be hard for him to distinguish dreams from reality.
To prevent bed dreams, make sure your kid doesn’t watch anything scary on TV or listens to scary stories. If your child is prone to fear, his bedtime routine should be as cheerful as possible. Don’t convince your kid monsters don’t exist because the nightmares he is having seems very real to him. Instead, soothe and reassure him that everything will be fine. Use “monster spray” before bed to scare away all the monsters.