According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers need to sleep up to 11 to 14 hours a day, to keep them physically and mentally healthy.
A good night’s sleep is essential to charge them up for the excitement of the new day. But even with yawning, eye rubbing, and irritation, toddlers tend to resist sleeping because of their active and energetic nature.
It is no mystery that toddlers’ lives are stimulating and exciting, which makes sleep time challenging. The best way to calm children down and transport them into a sleepy magical world is to create a bedtime routine.
Children love consistency. Knowing what will happen next makes them feel secure. A consistent bedtime routine also emphasises the child’s natural circadian clock by creating a comfortable and smooth transition to sleep. It helps them to understand the difference between day and night, too.
Make sure you develop a sleeping routine that both you and your child enjoy. Do not hesitate to try different methods until you find the perfect routine for your little one. Once you have found it, stick with it until your toddler gets accustomed to it completely.
Keep your child active during the day
An active child is a happy child. Do your best to keep your little monster active both physically and mentally. The more energy your child consumes during the day the better they sleep at night.
Forcing your little one directly into sleep is not an ideal way. This will only make them more upset and frustrated. As you approach bedtime, try to choose activities that will calm them instead of energising them.
Soothing bath and massages
It is necessary to create a routine of activities that help your toddler unwind, relax and shift them to the world of dreams. And nothing is better than a warm, soothing bath before sleep.
A calming bath will help your child loosen himself up after an active day. It will also get your toddler ready for bedtime with no fuss.
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Soft massages are also beneficial as part of a bedtime routine as smooth strokes help in the production of melatonin that helps your little one sleep. AVEENO® also holds a broad collection of baby moisturizers for different skin types.
AVEENO® Baby Calming Comfort Lotion contains a colloidal oatmeal-based and pediatrician-recommended formula that is ideal for normal to dry skin types. Natural Colloidal Oatmeal will keep your toddler’s skin soft and healthy and leave a soothing impression. You will also love the non-greasy texture as well as the lavender and vanilla scents.
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Dim the lights
According to a 2014 article, “Influence of Light at Night on Melatonin Suppression in Children”, experiencing bright, artificial light at night suppresses the melatonin levels in our body that regulate our day-and-night cycles. The sensitivity rate of melatonin is much greater in children as compared to adults.
To provide your little one a peaceful sleep at night, avoid using any electronic devices emitting blue light. Switch off all kinds of screens such as televisions, computers, smartphones 30 minutes before bedtime. Create a calming, quiet sleeping environment by dimming the light or using a night light.
Storytelling is another good approach to keep them in their room and get them ready for the night.
Create a cozy reading corner in the room with a large armchair with plush cushions and a variety of entertaining storybooks. This will help in nourishing the parent-child bond as well as help your toddler in learning new words.
Snuggle up with your little one and have a trip to the dream world. And don’t forget to add silly voices for your characters to make bedtime more fun.
Bedtime reading session also calls for a late-night pre-bed snack. A plain glass of milk is a perfect nighttime snack instead of sugary snacks or drinks that will leave them stimulated.
The classic method to make toddlers sleep is by singing a lullaby. A soothing lullaby in their favourite voice allows your little one to fall into sleep gradually. You can also pre-record the lullabies for when you are not the one putting them to bed.
Talking to your toddler is another way of relaxing them and overcoming their fears to have a healthier night’s sleep. Tell them about your day as they will love the sound of your voice, whereas if your toddler is learning to speak, ask them about their day as they will love your full attention.
Creating a sleep routine can take time, so be patient. If you think your toddler is not getting enough sleep and it affects her behaviour during the day, do not hesitate to seek help from your pediatrician.