There was a time when I have to spend almost four hours to persuade my toddler to go to sleep. It had been a long day, and I was sure that she was really tired. She yawned repeatedly, rubbed her eyes but still she refused to close her eyes and sleep. With so much going on around her, it is understandable if she didn’t want to miss a thing. In addition, fear of the dark and of being left alone make a toddler even more difficult to be tucked in bed. However, sleeping is important for children. Below are sometips that work for me.
Explain to your toddler why she needs sleep. Tell your kid that sleeping is important and that everyone needs sleep to grow and to be healthy.
Find out what makes her refuse to go to bed. Maybe she is afraid of the dark, maybe she hates being left alone, and maybe she just doesn’t want to miss all the fun that could happen while she was sleeping. Recognizing the causes of your toddler’s fussiness, may help a lot in finding the solutions. For example, if she is afraid of the dark, use night-light.
Set a regular bedtime routine. Do not forget to take nap time into consideration when deciding at what time your toddler should go to sleep and for how long. Establish the steps for bedtime with your kids. For example: first drink milk, then brush teeth, after that wash hands and feet, then read stories and off to bed. Be consistent with the routine, not a second too early, nor too late as pushing a toddler who is not tired yet or who is overtired will be more difficult.
Offer incentives. Praise your kid every time she settles down without a fuss. You may go further by telling your kid that if she
Offer comfort objects. Dolls, stuffed animals, her favorite toys can help her feel safe and comfortable.
Create a pleasant atmosphere in the bedtime. Decorate your toddler’s room with her favorite stuffs, color or Disney characters. Do not send your toddler to her room as punishment because if you do, she will associate her room with unpleasant feeling.
Insist your toddler to stay in bed. Your toddler might jump out of bed the minute you walk out her door. You should lead her back to her room and tuck her in bed again quietly. Let her read books, listen to soft music, or sing, but do not let her leave her bed. If your kid cries and begs you to let her stay awake, be firm. Speak calmly that she should stay on her bed but firm. Tell her that you will check on her every five minutes. Prepare a jar of water on her bedside table in case she needs drink and to keep her from leaving her room.
Let your toddler sleep by herself. This is the most extreme method. Just let your toddler fuss until she falls asleep by herself. Only use this method when others had failed. Usually after a few days, she will be able to go to sleep without a fuss.