Are you a parent of a toddler? Then you must be familiar with the bedtime fighting of a kid. Well, the reason behind it may vary as every kid is different in nature. But for you, the important thing is that you want you kid to get to bed earlier.
But how? No hard and fast rule works for them. But what about they find bedtime a fun and get habituated by it? That’s surely going to work. Get the magic tricks to get your toddler to bed earlier without any troubles.
Tips To Get Your Toddler to Bed Earlier
Deal with the Sleep Troubles
Kids face different sleep troubles at different ages.
Kids aging 12 to 18 months frequently wake up during the night. Kids by this age are smart enough to understand that you’re going to leave as soon as they fall asleep.
So what to do. Train him to nod off by himself. Leave the room before he closes his eyes. So that even if he wakes up at midnight he knows there’s nothing to be scared off.
Children of one to 3 years old are at the pick of wild imaginations. They start imagining that a shark may be under the bed or there’s a monster just on the other side of the window.
This may keep them awake till late at night. If you pretend to spray ‘monster poison’ you’re just feeding the fear. Rather confirm him that there’s no such thing as ghost or monster.
So it’s not possible that a shark under the bed or a creepy creature behind the curtain is hidden. Besides, assure him that you’ll be nearby and will be beside him at any time he needs.
The preschoolers aging 3 to 6 years, separation anxiety begins. They lust for love and attention before they go to sleep. You have to work on their habit. After you say goodnight, say you’ll be back in a few minutes and leave the room.
Pretend to work like start the dryer or load the dishwasher. Be back again. Repeat this every night, each time, extend the interval.
Kids of this age are also scared of incidents that may wake him up screaming. Talk to him. Know what’s causing him trouble to sleep at night. Creating a friendly environment in the bedroom will comfort him.
Routine and Rescheduling
Stick to the schedule no matter how hard it is to get your kid to bed on time. Make your entire family work as a team. Set a bedtime for the entire family and maintain them even on weekends and vacations.
Again, if he’s not feeling sleepy, you can try rescheduling the nap time. Younger toddlers sleep take frequent naps during the daytime without disturbing nighttime sleeping. But older toddlers, if take a long nap during the day, may keep awake late at night. As they can go an entire day without napping, so let it be. So at the end of the day, they will be tired enough and fell asleep early.
In short, you have to be persistent. Make him follow the routine but gently of course. Don’t be harsh or mad at him. Be consistent until your kid gets habituated to the routine.
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Slow Down Things after Dinner
Avoid activities that may excite your kid and keep him away from the bed. Rather try shooting activities close to bedtime. Bedtime activities may include-
- Taking a bath
- Brushing teeth
- Putting on night dresses
- Reading a bedtime story or singing lullaby
- Listening to soothing music
- Coloring or playing puzzles
- Talking in a soft voice
- Having the teddy or your kid’s favorite animal to bed etc.
Try Some Bedtime Snacks
Healthy bedtime snacks can keep their body fueled throughout the night. Some of the healthy options are-
- Warm milk
- Whole- grain cereal with milk
- A fruit
- Graham crackers etc.
Avoid caffeinated drinks as they are stimulators. Again, avoid heavy snacks before bedtime. Full stomach disturbs sleeping because of acid build-up.
A comfortable bedding will attract your kid to get to bed early. Make the bed comfortable with the right type of mattress and pillows. Make sure they aren’t too soft or too firm. A medium firm would be the best. Staff it with his favorite toys and blanket. Make sure the bed is ready before he goes to sleep.It’s very important to ensure toddlers sleep and pillowidea.com is a great resource in this regard.
Make the bedroom environment sleep-friendly. Make sure, it’s not too cold not too hot. A temperature around 72-degree Fahrenheit will be comfortable. The paint and paintings on the wall should be soothing. Again, using radium stars on the ceiling will create a quiet and calm environment.
Instead of making the room completely dark, turn on a nightlight. But not a blue night light as it interferes with the sleep. Keep the door open and make sure the noise level is low in the house.
Spend enough time in his room during the daytime so that it seems a friendly place to him.
Make Bedtime A Little More Fun
Play hide and seek. Try to play hide and seek or a racing game each night. Hide your kid’s nighttime gears such as toothbrush, pajama or teddy and let him find those. He’ll have fun looking for those and this will encourage him to go to bed early.
Or you can tell him that the last person into bed has to lock the doors, close the windows and turn off the lights. Your kid will surely be gentle to get on his bed.
Or you can also play ‘Simon says.’ It’s a game where you have to command someone saying ‘Simon says’. For example, Simon says, find your pajamas. Thus you can make your kid do all the bedtime stuff by making it a more fun.
Such games will reduce the unwillingness of your kid to go to bed.
Reward Him for Punctuality
Each time your kid get to bed on time give him a star. After achieving five stars, reward him with a toy or candy or something else. This will surely encourage him to follow the schedule.
Having proper sleep is important for both you and your toddler. And if your kid is late for bed somehow, your schedule will also be interrupted. So talk to him. Explain to him how getting enough sleep is important.