Toddlers are bundles of energy that can be difficult to manage by parents. They never seem to want to go to sleep, and an entire drama can unfold when you try to put your kids to bed. At this age, children tend to become more curious and involved with the world around them, which is why they don’t want to go to sleep.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should allow them to throw a tantrum each time bedtime is around the corner. By enforcing good habits, you will be able to help your toddler develop a sleep routine that is healthy for the entire family.
A bit about a toddler’s sleep needs
Kids between 1 and 3 years of age need around 12 hours of sleep over 24 hours, and that could be split between a substantial night rest and a nap during the day. Another thing you must be aware of is that the regular nap for a toddler can last up to 3 hours, which is much more than what adults see as naptime.
Stick to a precise schedule
You can’t enforce good habits in your toddler if you change bedtime hours all the time. That means that a strict schedule is in order. There should be the same hour for waking up, as well as the same hour for going to bed every single day. These hours shouldn’t be modified during weekends and vacations, as they will only affect your toddler’s sleep routine and, ultimately, yours, too.
Naps should be scheduled, too
It isn’t possible to have a proper sleep routine for your toddler if you’re conservative about the night’s sleep but liberal about nap times. Since a toddler can nap for hours on end, you should ensure that it doesn’t happen too late during the day or that it is disturbed or lasts for too little time.
Help your toddler wind down before bedtime
If the entire house is buzzing with activity and excitement, don’t expect your toddler to be capable of going to sleep. Instead, make sure that what you do helps your kid wind down slowly. Create a half an hour routine before going to bed that repeats every day.
Help your toddler have a bath and allow him or her to choose the pajamas for nighttime. Also, allow the choice of a stuffed animal or a blanket your child loves. That will offer a sense of comfort during the night.
You can sing lullabies or read fairy tales to your toddler before bedtime, but stick to a routine here, as well. Choose several songs you will sing or a specific time during which you will read. With time, your toddler will begin to appreciate this pleasant routine.
A few things should never be in your toddler’s room. For instance, never install a TV in there, and take away any smartphone, iPad, or other devices that the child might use to entertain himself or herself. All these provide stimulation that will surely prevent sleep from happening.
Create a proper environment for sleeping
Your toddler will sleep well if his or her room is well ventilated, dark, and cool enough. You could leave a night light, but make sure that it’s dim enough. It is preferable to sleep in darkness, but if your child becomes fearful, you could reach such a compromise.
About sleeping issues that could be related to health problems
If you notice that your child has a hard time sleeping because his or her breathing stops during the night, you should contact a doctor. About sleep apnea and what to do about it, you can learn more from this review.