Be honest – how long did you think the sleepless nights would last when you had your kids? A couple of months? Maybe a year?
Not many of us realize that the toddler stages can be even worse when it comes to sleepless nights. At that age, our kids don’t seem to have any sort of off switch and the problem is exacerbated by the fact that often when they are actually tired, they just end reverberating faster and faster and there is little you can do to calm them down.
In order to develop properly, toddlers need an adequate amount of sleep, but just how can you help them get it? Luckily, falling asleep is a habit that all kids can learn. Here are four ways to help your toddler become a good sleeper.
1. Get into a routine
Kids need routine and getting them into one when it comes to preparing for bed is one way to ensure that they settle down early and easily. A toddler who has been racing around all day can’t just be expected to switch off 10 minutes before bedtime, so start calming them a good few hours before. Have a set dinner time, then bath time, then story time and then finally tuck them into bed before lights out. If they know what is coming next for every step of the way, it can help make your job that much easier.
2. Set them an early, regular bedtime to help their biological clock
You might think a later bedtime will tire your toddler out and help them get a good night’s sleep, but the opposite is actually true. When your toddler is overtired, hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are released and as any adult who has tried to sleep when stressed will tell you, that is bad news. By setting them an early, regular bedtime – say between 6.30pm and 7.30pm – you’ll be helping them to get a better night sleep as well as getting their biological clock used to knowing at what time the body can switch off every evening.
3. Make a success out of potty training
Potty training can have an adverse effect on your toddlers sleep as they learn more about their body and the control they can exert over it. You’ll need the process to go as smoothly as possible in order to cause minimal disruption, with aids such as the Best Toddler Potty being able to help in potty training your toddler more efficiently.
4. Ensure they get enough exercise and laughter throughout the day
Toddlers are full of life and have so much energy that they need to expel much of it during the day, otherwise they’ll be restless while trying to sleep. Ensure they get enough exercise throughout the day, whether that be just running around the house, a visit to the park or even a walk and an explore in town. Being out in the sun will help bring down their energy levels and making them laugh can also help when it comes to a good night’s sleep – laughter reduces the amount of stress hormones released, which can help your child settle much easier.