Lot’s of children go through ups and downs with their sleep schedule. At times this can be more taxing for parents than it is for them! Here are some sure ways of getting your toddlers sleep schedule back into whack.
It may sound like the first port of call and the most obvious thing to do, but you can’t underestimate the power of routine. Scheduling bedtimes, daytime naps and wake up times really improves your toddler’s ability to establish sleeping patterns. Once they’re used to it, it will allow you to work around them too! Making it a win-win!
Don’t skip the daytime nap
The daytime nap can be beneficial for both you and your toddler. Daytime napping for your toddler will limit any over tiredness coming on later in the evening, which can result in tantrums and agitation when it comes to bedtime that night. Giving your toddler a nap in the middle of the day will give them enough energy to last for the rest of the day, but still be ready for sleep at bed-time.
Being consistent in bedtimes and nap-times can be difficult, we know. Toddlers can be stubborn at the best of times, and can get very cranky or agitated at the thought of being made go to bed. It’s no walk in the park! Try and stay consistent as much as you can, and soon the routine will become natural to them and they will start to want to go for a nap/to bed at a certain time themselves. It will be worth the struggle, we promise!
Have downtime before bed
Turning the television and limiting other screen time about an hour before bedtime, will make it easier for your toddler to wind down and relax. The lack of stimulation and light from the screens make it much easier to drift off!*
*Also works for parents!
The presence of light causes the brain to become alert and in turn, makes falling asleep harder. Note: This doesn’t mean the room needs to be pitch dark to get your toddler to sleep. Using an ambient night light in a blue or green shade will sooth your toddlers fear of the dark, while keeping the room in a relaxing glow.
Remove negative associations with bedtime
Brushing teeth, having a bath and getting into pyjamas can act like triggers for your defiant toddler. Once mentioned, they can result in defiance and rebellion against going to bed. Go figure. To make these little nighttime routines positive, try to include them in a game or a singsong to get your toddler engaged with you. Don’t forget to promise them a bedtime story once they have their pyjamas on, teeth brushed and are snuggled in bed!
Giving your toddler something small to eat a half an hour before bed will be good for both your sleeping pattern and your toddler’s. A snack will leave their tummy’s feeling full, making it easier for them to fall asleep. It will hopefully stop any trips into the ‘mummy and daddy restaurant’ in the middle of the night!
Have a wake up time
Establishing a wake up time can be just as important as establishing a bedtime. Coming to get your toddler when you are dressed, or when breakfast is ready in a routine fashion, will teach you’re child the appropriate time they can get up. Hopefully making life a little easier for parents on those weekend mornings!