Sleep is extremely important for our health and wellbeing, especially for our toddlers who need as much sleep as they can for their physical and mental health. As we all know a sleepy toddler is a grumpy toddler. As parents though, we understand that this is no easy task and that when you want to sleep, your toddler doesn’t. Issues with winding down and relaxing are not just problems for adults but your children also.
If you are continuously having issues with your children and bedtime, it is worth trying some different techniques and routines to find out what helps them to wind down and go to sleep rather than battling with them every night to get to sleep yourself. In this article, we will go through some top tips for helping your toddler sleep better.
Create A Consistent Bedtime Routine
Humans are creatures of habit and routine so it only makes sense to have a bedtime routine for your toddler and stick to it. Building a consistent bedtime routine will start to get your toddler associated with certain activities with their bedtime. This will soon encourage them to feel tired and automatically wind them down. A simple routine would be after dinner, avoid screen time and spend some quality time with them. Then you can bathe them, put their PJ’s on, brush their teeth and read them a story in bed. A tip in the bath is to wipe their face with a baby washcloth and warm water as this helps them to relax.
When your toddler is having dinner, let them eat in their own time, don’t rush them as this will get them excited again which is what we are trying to avoid. Place a coverall bib on them and let them get messy if they want as you will be putting them straight in the bath after it anyway.
It is essential that you try and stick to the same routine every evening, starting at the same time. It might take a little while before you find the routine that fits your family but you will get there. Once you do find the best routine, your toddler will start to feel sleepy at the start of their routine.
Avoid Screen Time
Melatonin is the hormone that helps us humans feel tired with sleep cycles. When our body has the highest level of melatonin, that’s when we start to feel tired and ready for bed. The issue with today is that the devices we have in our home including tabs, mobiles and televisions and computers all emit blue light which hinders the production of melatonin. If your toddler prefers to watch television before they go to bed or have their own tablet, then this can actually keep them awake for an extra 30-60 minutes on average. The best way to get out of this routine is to stop devices 2 hours before they go to bed.
Create A Relaxing Environment
Your toddler’s room should be a place to relax so aim to create a relaxing environment that encourages sleep. For a relaxing environment, think about what you like in your bedroom. Soft furnishings and bedding, blackout curtains, neutral colours with as few distractions as possible. Creating a sleepy environment is extremely beneficial so avoid lots of soft toys on their bed, tidy toys away before dinner to prevent more play. Having a relaxed toddler is much easier to get to sleep than an excited toddler.