Toddlers need to sleep between 11 to 14 hours every day – including naps. Easier said than done, right? Between the bedtime battles, the night wakings and the meltdowns, their struggle is real and so is ours. It feels like an impossible task. Try these five ways to get toddlers to sleep better and help them grow.
5 Ways to Naturally Induce Sleep in Toddlers
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Why doesn’t your child want to sleep?
Some toddlers have a hard time going to sleep. Maybe life is just too exciting for them and going to sleep feels like missing out on it. Also, the more tired they are, the more they fight it. Or they don’t want to be away from you and feel some separation anxiety.
Another common reason is they fight to feel in control. During this age, children are trying to gain some independence. When it’s bedtime, they feel powerless, and loss of control thus begins the bedtime battle.
The Importance of Sleeping for Toddlers
Sleep plays a fundamental role in our children’s growth and development. While they sleep, growth hormones are released, their energy is restored, and muscles get repaired. Plus, as you may have noticed, getting enough sleep can drastically improve their moods and the way they deal with the world.
5 Ways to Get Toddlers to Sleep Better at Night
1. Create a visual bedtime routine
Having a bedtime routine is key to helping toddlers sleep better. A routine will become a habit, and they will get used to it. An even better approach to applying this schedule is by creating it visually. Colorful pictures of the routine can help toddlers be more cooperative because they understand it and feel involved.
Here is what an effective bedtime routine looks like – though there are many other possibilities:
• Soothing bath
• Bedtime Snack
• Brush teeth
• Story in bed
• Tuck in, goodnight kisses and lights out
Extra tip: if they want you to stay with them or cry when you leave, you can try a process of slowly staying further and further away. The first few nights, you sit right next to them, then a little further away and then a little bit more. Until, slowly, you’re out of the bedroom.
2. Start the wind-down process early
At least an hour before bedtime, make sure you don’t engage in any activities that can be too exciting for them. Choose calm activities instead.
It will help their bodies slow down their metabolism and make it easier for them to fall asleep later on. Activities like drawing, coloring or other quiet activities are ideal.
3. Turn off any distractions and dim the lights
Before bedtime, it can be highly effective to turn off any screens and other distractions they might encounter. When the environment is soothing, it helps the toddler accept that it’s time to go to sleep. Since there’s nothing else going on, they might as well sleep.
Lighting can have a significant impact, too.
Set the scene for a great night’s sleep. Dim the lights or turn off most lights around the house and play some soothing music.
4. Prepare bedtime snacks
Some kids might feel hungry at night or even wake up because of it. An easy way to avoid this night waking is to give them a little something to eat before bed.
Keep in mind; the snack shouldn’t have much sugar; otherwise, it will most likely have the opposite effect.
5. Naps, sunshine, and exercise during the day
Just as important as their bedtime routines, is your toddlers’ day. They need to get quality nap time because if they don’t, they will be overtired at night and struggle to go to sleep.
Throughout their day, they should be as active as possible. We all know how much energy children have, right? Also, getting enough exposure to sunlight during the day has a direct impact on their sleep at night.
Sunlight exposure increases the production of serotonin in their body, which becomes melatonin and regulates the mood and sleep.
What if your toddler still doesn’t sleep? – A Natural Sleep Remedy for Toddlers
Every toddler is different, and even after trying all these ideas, some might still struggle. For some children, going to sleep can be more challenging. If nothing works, you can try natural sleep remedies for toddlers.
Getting a natural sleep aid like Tired Teddies can help children sleep better on tough nights. It’s a herbal supplement that blends chamomile and other kids’ friendly herbs. A natural sleep remedy like this gives children a low dose of melatonin, which, as mentioned before, regulates their sleep. Tired Teddies are recommended for two-year-olds and older.
When nothing else works, it can be a lifesaver to have natural sleep remedies for toddlers handy.