There are many different parenting styles out there. One thing they all have in common is their hope for a full night’s sleep! One thing most parents struggle with, in fact, is sleep. But, what can you do as a parent to synchronize your child's internal clock so that he or she can fall asleep more easily?
There are many different parenting styles out there. One thing they all have in common is their hope for a full night’s sleep! One thing most parents struggle with, in fact, is sleep. But, what can you do as a parent to synchronize your child's internal clock so that he or she can fall asleep more easily? New research offers some simple ways to reduce sleep resistance and insomnia for toddlers, and little ones of all ages.
For most children, sleep disturbance can include-difficulties falling asleep, bedtime resistance, tantrums, and episodes known as "curtain calls" which manifest themselves as a calling out from bed or coming out of the bedroom—asking for another story, a glass of water, something to eat, a bathroom trip... sound familiar?
Rearrange your little one’s sleep schedule
We sometimes mistake sleep as just one part of the day—the night-time part. We forget that sleep actually takes into account the entire day, and sometimes several days at that. We also overlook the possibility that they’re developmentally ready for changes in sleep.
How does this affect your toddler fighting sleep?
In order to fix night-time sleep
, you’ll need to look into the entire sleep schedule, and for your little ones current age and stage.
If they have a late or long nap that might be making it hard for them to fall asleep? If so, see if you can drop to one nap in the middle of the day. Another option is to wake them up from the last (or only) nap by a certain time so they don’t sleep in too long.
Is there also a chance that they no longer need a nap? Older toddlers can sometimes go the whole day without a nap and instead would benefit from an earlier bedtime. That way, they won’t be overtired at bedtime (which can make it harder for them to sleep).
Tire them out
It’s true that kids have the energy they need to get out. Staying stationary too long during the day can mean your toddler is ready to play come bedtime.
Aim for at least one outing that allows them to have physical activity during the day. Take them to the park or go for an after-dinner walk.
You’d be surprised how easy it is for kids to stay stationary for long periods of time. Television and screens are obvious culprits, but sometimes even calm activities like reading
or crafts can prevent your little one from being active.
Create a calm sleep environment
Make it a routine that, at a certain time of the night, you change your environment to signal it’s time to sleep. This way, your little one knows when bedtime is.
A few ideas include:
- Turning off a few lights to keep your home dark
- Speaking quietly and softly
- Providing relaxing activities like jigsaws
- Making bath time calm and relaxing
- Reading calming bedtime books (save the funny ones for during the day)
- Avoiding tickling, roughhousing, or other activities that get him riled up
Make your little one’s bedroom a positive place to be
As we just discussed, creating the right environment is so important to help your little one go to sleep, and the same applies to their bedroom.
Spend time in their room during the day so they know this is a positive place to be in. Don’t send them alone to their room when they misbehave, this paints a negative picture of it.