A lot of parents who have children aged 1 – 3 can have major trouble with getting their children to sleep at night. The majority of toddlers usually sleep during the night but may wake up at brief intervals. Those children who drop off to sleep on their own will usually not need assistance from their parents to fall back to sleep. There is a variety of steps to take that will help children get a better night sleep. They are as follows:
1. Regular Sleep Schedule
If you have your child in a routine when he is going to sleep, then that is half the battle. Children work well with a routine, in fact they need routine. If you schedule naps and sleep times your child’s body clock will learn to anticipate sleep at the same time each day after a short while.
You will know your child is tired if he pulls his ears, rubs his eyes and starts staring into space. A two hour nap each day is needed for toddlers. The best time for this nap is after lunch. Do not leave it till late afternoon as they will find it harder to sleep at bedtime if you do.
2. Routine at Bedtime
Routine is important for children. You need to develop a calming and consistent bedtime ritual. Simplicity is best. Maybe give your child a bath each night before bed and then in bed read him a bedtime story. You can even try giving him a glass of milk before bed time as milk is said to release serotonin in the brain making the child relax. If you keep the child’s bedtime routine consistent you should have no problems what so ever.
3. Calming and Soothing Surroundings
The child’s bedroom should be dim with just a night light. It should not be to warm and should be completely quiet. A night light will allow the child to be familiar in their surroundings if they wake up in the middle of the night, so a night light is ok. If you choose to play low music to help your child drift of that is fine. However make sure the music is calming. T.V in a child bedroom is not a good idea because it is too stimulating before your child goes to sleep.
4. Set Limits
Ensure your child knows that they are only allowed to be read one book at night. They should be allowed only one drink. Do not have a debate with your child over any of these issues as they are just doing it to delay going to sleep. Do not give into tears!
5. Sleep Remedies That Are Herbal
It is not recommended to use any herbal sleep remedies on your child. This is because they are not regulated by the food and drug administration authorities, which means they could contain substances that are not suitable for children.