Night time schedules are one of the most important routines you should set for your little one. It can be a challenge to put them to bed and make them stay there because they would still want to run, play, and stay wide awake.
When children do not get sleep properly, they have a harder time handling their emotions. They can be hyper, fussy, or irritated which is not pleasant for anyone. Toddlers who have irregular sleeping patterns are more likely to gain weight in the future and develop behavioural problems. Making sure your toddler has enough bedtime is essential.
So here are some ways to make a toddler sleep:
Work as a family
Decide on regular go-to-bed and wake-up timings for the entire family. Try following them even on the weekends. Toddlers tend to get their first impressions from the family members and if they can see that people around them are going to bed, so will they.
If you are starting a new sleep routine for your little one, make them a part of the team. Use a picture chart to help your child learn the new routine, showing actions like changing clothes, brushing teeth, and reading a book.
Have a healthy bedtime snack
Eat, play, sleep, repeat. This cycle goes on for toddlers, and they may need more than three meals a day to keep going. A small snack before bedtime can help their bodies stay content throughout the night.
Healthy options include whole-grain cereal with milk, cut vegetables like carrots, or a piece of fruit. Avoid large snacks close to bedtime as it can interfere with their sleep.
Negotiate by offering acceptable choices
Toddlers like to be independent and can be quite fussy if you don't let them. To help your child feel that they are making their own choices, let them make bedtime decisions whenever possible. Ask them which story they want to hear or what nightdress they want to wear. The trick is to offer only two choices and making sure you are content with either choice.
For example, you should not ask, "Do you want to go to bed now?" They could very well say no, which isn't acceptable. Instead, ask, "Do you want to go to bed now or in five minutes?" That way it is a win-win situation, no matter what the answer is.
Be calm and sail through the power struggle
You have to be calm throughout the whole bedtime process and remember patience is the key. Stand your ground even if your child whines or pleads. Speak firmly and quietly and assert when time's up, time's up.
If you give in to their requests for "five minutes more, please" once, you'll hear it again and again. If they are afraid of ghosts or monsters, check around for their benefit and assure them that they are completely safe.
A few words of wisdom!
Regular habits, a firm and assertive tone along with patience will make sure that your toddler goes to bed on time and sticks to a routine.