When your child reaches a certain age, the entire sleep process is suddenly problematic. It feels as if your toddler who could feel asleep anywhere, has been replaced by a little monster who refuses to sleep. This happens for a number of reasons, but the most common cause of toddler sleep problems is that the child is testing boundaries to see what they can get away with.
3 Tips For Solving Toddler Sleep Problems:
Here are a few tips to make bedtime for your child as painless as possible.
1. Prepare the Sleeping Space
The bedroom is a place for sleeping only. Your child needs to recognize this so that they can make a mental association between the room and sleep. Under no circumstances should a young child have access to a television or video game console in their room. Try to keep the space clutter free and peaceful. Dark curtains can help your child sleep too. Also, if they are afraid of monsters or the dark, encourage them to look over the room once with you before they go to bed. This will make them feel responsible for their safety, and convince them that nothing untoward is going to happen during the night.
2. Maintain Routine
The trick to getting your child to sleep easily is to get them into a rigid routine. If you can have them bath or shower, brush their teeth, and then go to bed at the same time every night, then their internal clocks will start adjusting accordingly, so that by the time they go to bed, they fall right asleep. It is very important that you stick to the routine as far as possible. Disruptions are likely to lead to sleepless nights for the both of you.
3. Assert Yourself
It is natural that at some point your child is going to push against the boundaries of your authority, and when they are young, the first point of fracture seems to be bedtime. Mom and Dad are both tired themselves, and tend to let the child get away with slightly more than they ordinarily would. Resistance can come in the form of a facial expression, attempts to play, or temper tantrums. Once again, theroutine is the tool that can empower you to avoid tears and frustration. Set the bedtime routine, place your child in the bed, and say goodnight. If they get out of bed, gently tell them that it’s bedtime and that they need to sleep. If they get out again, return them without talking. If the process continues, take them back every time without a word. They will soon learn that it is pointless to fight, and that they are exhausted as is. Persevere and you will be sleeping peacefully, as will your children.