You worked hard to get your little one on a consistent sleep schedule when he was an infant. So when he finally learned to sleep through the night, you were happy to enjoy the silence. And with the exception of sickness and teething time, you may even have gotten used to all of those hours of uninterrupted sleep. But since your child has entered the toddler years, you may be feeling like you're back at square one. If you're tired of being tired, you could be asking yourself, how do I get my toddler to go to sleep?
Can you blame your toddler for putting up a fight when it's time for bed? For all she knows, the house turns into a raging nightclub when you put her down, leaving her to miss out on all of the fun. She may use every trick in the book to convince you to let her stay awake, but it's in her best interest for you to make sure she gets a good night's sleep. As Parents pointed out, toddlers need at least 10 to 14 hours of sleep each day.
Creating a consistent bedtime routine, making sure the room is dark, and limiting your visits to his bedside can help you promote healthy bedtime habits for your toddler. After all, a good night's sleep for him means a good night's sleep for everyone. Here are a few effective ways to get your toddler in bed and off to dream land.
1. Stand Your Ground
After the tenth request for water, you may be at your wit's end, but when it comes to getting little ones to sleep, you have to stand firm. As Parenting mentioned, setting limits at bedtime will be better for you and your child all day long.
2. Keep Things Consistent
Your toddler may not be able to tell time, but you can help your child's body prepare for sleep by setting a bedtime and sticking to it. According to Parents, a regular bedtime helps toddlers mark the end of their day. She may not like it, but if bedtime is always at 8 p.m., she'll come to expect it.
3. Make Things Dark
If you want your toddler to sleep, you have to set the mood. Blocking out the sunlight can help create the right environment for sleep. As Cafe Mom noted, room darkening shades can keep things dark until you're ready to wake your little sleeping beauty.
4. Time Your Visits
If your child had it his way, you'd spend half the night in his bedroom soothing him to sleep. But if you want your child to learn to fall asleep and stay asleep on his own, you have to set limits. Rather than running to his room every time he calls, you should schedule your bedside visits according to timed intervals, which gradually increase until he no longer needs you, as Parents mentioned.
5. Serve A Snack
As Aha! Parenting suggested, a bedtime snack can help your child sleep better, particularly during growth spurts. Just make sure that what you give her doesn't have too much sugar.
6. Wind Down
It can be tough to go to sleep when you're wound up, so as you prepare for bed, you should limit your toddler's activity and screen time. According to Cafe Mom, shutting down electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime helps your child get settled and ready for sleep.
7. Let Him Pick The PJs
If you want your child to sleep, he needs to dress the part. As part of the bedtime routine, you can allow your toddler to decide which pajamas he will wear. As Baby Center pointed out, giving your child a simple choice can help him feel empowered and eliminate the need to challenge you when it's time for bed.