Ideas to teach your toddler to put himself to sleep.
We all know that toddlers are like those bunnies on Duracell batteries. They have an infinite source of energy. Teaching them to put themselves to sleep can be a real challenge, all the time. But it is definitely possible.
Below, you’ll find a few helpful tips on how to teach your toddler to put him to sleep. Don’t worry if you fail at the start. These things take time. You must keep trying because toddlers need their sleep to overcome all the developmental challenges they face at this age.
1. Start To Calm Your Child Hours Before Their Bedtime
Your toddler does not have an off switch that you can press to make him fall asleep. Therefore, there should be a winding-down process that starts earlier than bedtime. You can achieve that by creating a calm and quiet environment a few hours before you put your child to sleep.
These entail lowering the volume on your TV or music and encourage the people around the house to lower their voices. It promotes a settling-down mood for the child. If possible, dim the lights in the room to create a more calming environment for the kid.
2. Stick to a Routine
Do your best to establish a routine, and make sure that you follow it every night. It creates a sense of inevitability. In no time, your child adopts the habit of putting himself to sleep.
Give your toddler a bath after dinner as part of the routine, then a story could follow, tucking in, and a goodnight kiss. It sounds simple, but very efficient. If you instead come up with a too elaborate method, you’ll have a hard time. It will take you time to go through it and even reach a point where you’ll find it overwhelming. That just steals the joy of tucking in your child.
In case your toddler resists the routine, no need to despair. It’s natural to experience some resistance in the beginning. Keep in mind that this is a child, and you can play the game your way.
For instance, you could say something like, “Oh no! It’s already 19:15. If you brush your teeth quickly, I have time to read you an extra bedtime story before the lights go out at 19:30.” You see, the time comes as a problem the child can fix, and get a reward for following the routine. At the end of the day, you still remain on your child’s good books.
3. Your Toddler Has A Biological Clock Too
Like adults, toddlers have a biological clock as well. However, they don’t know how to set it at that age. This is where you come in.
First of all, don’t put your toddler to sleep later than 19:30. You’d think that a later bedtime will help your child fall asleep faster, but you could be wrong. If you go beyond the appropriate sleeping time (19:30), you’ll get an overly tired toddler who can’t fall asleep. It happens to adults as well. This is caused by stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.
Pay attention when your child signals that he is sleepy. A yawn here and there can be a goodsignthat your child is ready to sleep. Don’t allow your toddler to yawn too much because, in less than half an hour, adrenaline could kick in. As a result, you’ll have a toddler in overdrive. After that, putting him to sleep is not as easy as it would have been half an hour earlier.
4. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Naps
Until the age of three, a toddler is not ready to get rid of naps. Not all children are the same, though. However, a child who needs but doesn’t take a nap will become cranky. Even if you follow the routine I mentioned earlier, your child will not be in a good mood to follow it religiously.
5. Don’t Leave Your Child To Cry It Out
Teaching your toddler to put himself to sleep is a long process. It can take a while, so you need to be patient. He may cry sometimes. What do you? You stay with him and give him a sense of security.
So, don’t let him cry or leave him alone in the dark.Take him in your arm, and make him feel that everything is fine.
As a matter of fact, no child can put himself to sleep in a stressful situation. As a caring parent, you don’t want that too.
The bottom line is that teaching a toddler to put himself to sleep is somewhat complicated, and it takes time. However, if you insist and use the right strategies, you will have the child embrace very healthy sleeping habits.