BEDTIME WITH TODDLERS CAN BE A FRUSTRATING TIME – BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE WITH THESE TIPS AND TRICKS TO HELP GET YOUR CHILD TO SLEEP WITH EASE!
The end of the day can be a dreaded time for some parents, we get it. But with some consistency and a few tricks, you can make bedtime a fun experience, bonding you and your child closer together.
Create A Routine
Using your child’s internal clock to your advantage will help make bedtime come as a breeze and help them wake when you need them to. It is recommended a toddler gets 11-14 hours of sleep. This is important when determining when your child’s bedtime should be. If you want them to wake up at a certain time in the morning, get them to bed around 12 hours before their waking time and continuously make sure your child is in bed at that same time each night. Soon enough, their natural circadian rhythm will kick in and do the work for you.
Brushing Teeth Before Bed
Part of creating a routine is doing specific activities with your kid that follow up with going to sleep. A great way to start the bedtime routine is getting your kid to brush their teeth every night before going to bed (& morning too). While toddlers teeth will eventually fall out to be replaced by their permanent teeth around the age of six years old, their primary teeth still run the risk of cavities and gum disease. But the most important benefit is helping them create the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day and becoming familiar with the process so they can keep that positive routine going for the rest of their lives to maintain a healthy mouth. It also is a great way for them to know that next-up is time to get into bed!
One of the best moments of parenting a child is connecting with them during storytime before going to bed. Reading a couple of children books with your kid before shutting off the light creates a good habit of expecting that its time to go to sleep, but its a great way to bond with your child and the right books can be educational for them too! For example, when they’re ready to start potty training, you can read them books on potty training to make them more comfortable with the porcess. It’s always good to set a limit of how many books your are going to read in advance because sometimes they can’t get enough, trying to pressure you into “just one more!” It helps to draw a line before you get started so you can refer back to it after you have finished your last book.
Tire Your Child With Outdoor Play
If your child isn’t getting enough playtime, especially outdoor playtime, they may still have a lot of pent up energy by the end of the day that will make it difficult for them to fall asleep. Exposure to natural light will help keep their internal clock on time and let them know that when it’s dark, it’s time to sleep. Research also suggests children play harder when outdoors and release more endorphins, making them more tired at the end of the day. The good thing about sending your child to Claire’s Day School is that we incorporate a good amount of outdoor and playtime activities each day, helping you get closer to your goal of expending their energy.
Warm Baths With Epsom Salt
If a bedtime bath is already in your child’s nightly routine, add a little bit of Epsom salt to the water. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is calming to the muscles and can help relax your child before bedtime. It’s a great, all-natural way to help bedtime go much more smooth!
Send Them To Bed With A Full Stomach
A nighttime bottle or snack can be key to getting your toddler to sleep. Adults even have a hard time going to bed on an empty stomach, and a child is no different. Try foods that are high in magnesium, such as bananas, that also aid in falling asleep.
Eliminate Blue Light
Any electronic lights, lamps, nightlights etc. contain light rays that are more harsh and will either keep your child up or wake them up in the middle of the night. If your child needs a light source to sleep, try a red light or a salt lamp that won’t interfere with your child’s sleep.
Give Back For Bedtime This Season!
Project Night Night provides bedtime comforts for children of homeless families. Each night night sack is outfitted with a warm blanket, children’s book, and a new stuffed animal. The charity works with vendors to keep the cost per filled sack around $25, and we will be collecting money (rather than items) to give to them. This may not help your child sleep at night, but it will definitely help a child in need at their bedtime!