Not every part of motherhood is roses and rainbows; every mother knows that. But, getting a toddler to sleep can be a tough battle. You both need rest and a tantrum at night is not something you want to deal with. We have a few steps to help get your child to bed and over time put themselves to sleep on their own!
Start winding down
Start to get your child into the wind down state. That requires telling them to start to put their toys away, go pick out some books to read before bed, go to the bathroom, and brush their teeth.
Follow a night routine
If you have a routine for each night it will make it easier for your child’s brain to process what time it is simply by the actions. Giving them a routine to follow helps keep things balanced and eventually they will do the routine without you having to even say what to do next. A routine also helps as they get older to set their own routines for sports, studying, etc.
Set up a cozy bed
No one wants to sleep on something uncomfortable or itchy. Make nighttime a luxury. Get comfy pillow and sheets and make sure the temperature is good. Put their favorite stuffed animal or blankey in the bed. Make it a space for them to enjoy and relax.
Set up dim to low lighting
Bright florescent lights and computer or TV screens emulate day light. Therefore, if there are bright lights before going to sleep the body is confused about it’s personal biological clock. Make sure to have dim lighting or a night light ready before the child gets into bed. Use a calm voice and maybe have a soundtrack or song to sing to them that quiets the mind and gets them ready for zzzs.
Wear them out during the day
Make sure your child gets enough play, exercise, and human interaction during the day to be well worn out when it comes to night time. After a busy day don’t you want to pass out asleep? So they need a busy day too.
Teach your child to put themselves to sleep
Eventually the end goal is for them to put themselves to sleep. Sleep is not a bad thing it is a great way to re-energize the body. If you make sleeping a pleasant oasis where you get to get cozy and clean and listen to soft music then hopefully they will learn to love it. Make sure you don’t view it as punishment or not something enjoyable. Tell them the benefits and show them how to get your mind and body ready to relax
Tell your child the order of nighttime routine
Make sure your toddler knows what is going to happen before bed and also remind them or ask them what comes next after completely a step.
“What do we do after brushing our teeth?”
“We read a book.”
Don’t rush. If you are doing everything correct it might be tough at the beginning for them to pick up on the routine but eventually it will get easier and easier and both of you will be happy for bedtime