As parents know all too well, young children are notorious for resisting sleep. Just the mention of bedtime can some-times set off a toddler tantrum.
Help your little bundle of energy head to dreamland and get the rest he needs with these toddler sleep tips.
Create a quiet routine
A game of chase or dancing around to music may seem like a surefire way to tire out your toddler, but a quiet, soothing routine before bed is a better choice for sleep success. Try reading a story together or giving your child a bath right before bedtime. Practice makes perfect, and repeating your bedtime ritual every night will help signal to your toddler that it’s time to get ready for sleep.
To establish a good sleep pattern, try to put your toddler to bed at the same time every night. Your tot may resist going to bed (can you blame him for not wanting to miss out on the after-hours fun?), but remaining firm about the rules will help a fuss-free bed-time become the norm instead of the exception.
Give your toddler a “lovey”
Letting your toddler sleep with her favorite blanket, teddy bear, or toy will help comfort her, especially if she wakes up in the middle of the night. Let her choose her lovey, but make sure what she picks is safe — avoid toys or stuffed animals with ribbons, buttons,or anything that could be considered a choking hazard.
Set up the bedroom for success
A room that’s quiet, dark, and set to a comfortable temperature will encourage your toddler to fall — and stay — asleep. Before you tuck your child in, check that she has everything she needs to get through the night. This will decrease the chance that she’ll call you back to her bedroom. If she does cry out for you, resist the urge to rush in immediately. Instead, wait 15 seconds before reentering the room. If she calls out multiple times, gradually increase the amount of time you wait to go in, giving her the chance to fall back asleep without your help.
Keep an eye on naptime
Most children this age need between 12 and 14 hours of sleep each day, which can be split up between nighttime sleeping and daytime naps. But snoozing too late in the day can cause your toddler to have difficulty dozing off in the evening. If this is the case, slowly inch back the time of day she naps (a drastic change can completely throw off her schedule). If she goes to day care, try to have naptime there and at home be as consistent as possible.
Following these guidelines should help bedtime go more smoothly over time. Of course, life can sometimes get in the way, but if it does, just aim to get back on track the next evening.