Adequate sleep is of paramount importance for growing children of all ages. Sleep is a crucial component of your toddler’s healthy development and growth, as it affects health, behavior, attentiveness in school, and mood. As parents, part of our role is to ensure that our kids get enough sleep. This is why it’s so important for parents to establish a consistent toddler bedtime routine.
As most of us know, bedtime for toddlers isn’t always a walk in the park. In fact, the challenges brought on by this time of day is a common dilemma faced by many parents. Establishing a bedtime routine is extremely beneficial in order to help your family overcome nightly bedtime battles, which can lead to your little one becoming cranky and overtired.
This article will discuss seven tips for setting up a bedtime routine for your toddler to help you win the battle of when it comes to getting your little one to sleep!
Prepare your toddler for bedtime
It’s okay to allow toddlers to enjoy some play time as the evening approaches, but make sure that their activities are not too stimulating as bedtime nears. Avoid physical activities that can over-stimulate their senses. Once play time wraps up, next up is bath time, which helps children unwind. Next help your little one get into comfy pajamas and settle into bed.
Have a consistent bedtime each night
Your toddler’s bedtime may need to align with your family’s routine and lifestyle, but it’s important that your little one goes to be around the same time each night. Observe your child’s cues and body language. If children show signs of being tired and sleepy around 9:00pm, that means it’s time to begin the bedtime routine. Try to adhere to a similar schedule every night so that it becomes routine.
Transition slowly from playtime to bedtime
Transitioning from playtime to bedtime doesn’t always come easily for restless toddlers. You can help smooth this transition by offering an activity that helps toddlers feel more relaxed as they get closer to bedtime. Good options include reading a story, singing songs, doing puzzles, or anything else that helps your toddler get in the mood for resting.
Let your toddler feel a sense of control around bedtime
Though this may seem challenging, try to avoid controlling every aspect of the process when it comes to sleep-training your toddler. It can be detrimental if your little one feels pressured or forced into going to bed, or perceives it as a chore.
Instead, you can make bedtime easier by letting your toddler make a few choices along the way. For example, allow children to choose which pajamas they want to wear, and invite them to pick out their favorite book from their collection for story time. Giving them opportunities to make choices about certain things gives them a sense of control, which can make bedtime easier for everyone.
Make your toddler’s bedroom a safe and relaxing space
A child’s bedroom should elicit feelings of comfort and rest, especially if you’re trying to help your toddler to get sufficient quality each night. Make sure your little one’s room includes a comfortable mattress and pillow, cozy sheets, and blackout curtains. Also, children should have pajamas that are comfortable and soft on their skin. It’s also helpful to keep a little light in small children’s bedrooms to help them fall asleep. Before bedtime, try to avoid activities that produce loud and disturbing noises, such as vacuuming or watching loud action movies. A quiet setting is most conducive when it comes to helping toddlers fall asleep without any distractions.
Follow a consistent sleep schedule
Consistency is key when it comes to successfully sleep-training your toddler. Make it a point to adhere to your toddler’s nap and bedtime schedules, even on weekends or on days when your child goes to daycare. This consistency will help your little one avoid sleep regression.
Limit screen time before bedtime
Screen time can significantly affect children’s sleep and bedtime routines. Be sure to limit screen time, especially in the evening. If possible, it’s best to avoid screens altogether at least an hour before bedtime. The light that emits from these devices has the potential to “trick” your toddler’s mind and body into thinking it’s time to be active, which can cause issues during sleep-training.
Sleep is vital for the healthy growth and development of every child. Facing your toddler’s nightly bedtime routine and sleeping habits doesn’t have to wear you out. Follow these tips to help you establish an effective bedtime routine that will benefit your toddler for years to come.
At Akers Academy, children learn using all five of their senses, and rely on self discovery to discover their own unique boundaries and independence. Visit our website to learn more about our toddler program.