How To Help Your Toddler Get To Sleep
The time has come. The dreaded sleep time. For a mom, getting a toddler to sleep, can either be a time of pure relief or daunting frustration, depending on how cooperative your child is. For me, it was a struggle. My 4 year old dug his heels in the ground all the way to his room at bedtime, as well as naptime. Sleep is essential for a kid’s development and I could see it was affecting his behavior.
So, after lots of trial and error and a little creativity, I was able to tame the night time beast and help my little guy get some consistent rest. So get your wine ready mama, because after you implement these tips you will be able to help your toddler get to sleep, and then enjoy your evening, while sipping on a glass of Moscato.
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Potty Before Bed
Making sure your little one is as comfortable as possible when lying down is super important. Make it a routine to hit up the potty before heading to bed. This will ensure they’re able to get comfy cozy and start off the night with an empty bladder, hopefully allowing them to sleep more soundly through the night.
Black BlackOut Curtains
Another thing that can mess up sleep schedules are the longer days with the sun still out at bedtime (or naptime!) Having black out curtains like the ones below, sets the tone for a nighttime atmosphere and lets the melatonin levels kick up a notch. They’re also super useful during storms so lightning can’t come through or limiting the light from headlights in a higher traffic area.
Special Stuffed Animal
Having something soft to hold onto for security can definitely help put a child’s mind at ease. My boys each have a special bear that they sleep with every night, that they ask for by name. We actually made a thing of it. Each boy and I had a date to Build a Bear, where we made a special sleep time bear. The bears are currently dressed in superhero costumes, because, I mean... who else could make you feel more safe at night than Batman and Spiderman?
Having some white noise playing through the night is super beneficial for helping your little peanut get into a sweet slumber. White noise contains different frequencies known to mask other sounds, helping the mind to get into full relaxation mode. Definitely something that a toddler might need some assistance with. So if you are struggling at nap time or bedtime, using a noise machine is definitely worth a shot!
Want to get your toddler to sleep? A weighted blanket can be a huge help! If you’ve never heard of this, it’s a weighted blanket (different weights for different ages and sizes) that is used to provide comfort and feels like you’re being cuddled. This was a LIFESAVER for us. For the longest time, one of my boys insisted I stayed next to his bed while he fell asleep. While this is so sweet, it can get awfully exhausting for a tired mama. So after some research, I decided to try out a weighted blanket to provide some comfort, and sure enough, there was an immediate improvement in his sleep habits. While he still sometimes asks me to stick around, the odds are way more in my favor that he will fall asleep on his own, and better yet, he stays asleep! (Make sure to check the weight charts and that it is age appropriate for your child)
What sleep tips list would be complete without including essential oils. There are a plethora of recipes you can try for sleep aid but lavender is definitely one of the main go to’s for assisting in relaxation. Throughout history, aromatherapy has been used for a variety of medicinal and stress relieving uses, so it’s safe to say it’s the real deal. To check out my favorite essential oil company, CLICK HERE (Amazing quality and the company is TRULY making a difference in people’s lives by donating a significant amount to charitable causes). Use code FROMSONUPFREE for a $40 gift card towards future subscription boxes after first purchase.
This is something that doesn’t seem to be talked about much but I think it’s important. Kids have wild imaginations and something that may not cross out minds as adults, is how terrifying night time shadows can be. For example, we have under the cabinet lighting in our kitchen which I would leave on as a night light. Because of this, unbeknownst to me, every time I would walk across my kitchen at night to grab some chips and salsa, it would send shadows down the hall directly into my boy’s room.
There were a couple nights this launched my son into hysteria because he saw shadows dancing on the wall, and I had NO CLUE I was the one causing them. I had no clue he was lying in bed awake, and I certainly had no clue my walking across the kitchen would cause so much fear. But in a toddler’s mind that has to be terrifying. I felt horrible, HORRIBLE once it dawned on me what was going on. And I had the darndest time assuring him there were in fact no monsters in his room. Long story short, be conscious of how night time lighting affects the household.
Get in a Routine
Having a nightly wind down process is essential for getting kids to relax. Getting in a routine allows them to know what comes next, and for little ones, it’s definitely beneficial to know what’s next. Otherwise everything comes as a shock, and we all know how that turns out.
Consistency is also very important when tackling the night time battle. Make a specific time to start your bedtime routine and stick with it. Make it the same time every single day and it will allow your little one to get acquainted with the idea of bedtime.
What works for us in our household is; dinner, 30-45 minutes of playtime, an hour before bed we sit down and watch a laid back, low stimulation movie as a family, brush teeth, potty and pj’s, story time and twinkle twinkle little star. This is pretty much our routine every… single… day. It’s not perfect, it’s not right or wrong, it’s just what works for us. Find what works for you and stick with it and I am confident this will help decrease bedtime struggles.
Have a collection of coveted bedtime stories your child loves. This encourages early reading, as well as consistency. Also, allowing them to pick their book of choice can get them excited for bedtime, as opposed to going on a bedtime strike. If you’re looking for some great reading options, CLICK HERE for our favorite top ten children’s books.
There were some nights where I just could not figure out why the heck my kids couldn’t get comfortable and then my husband mentioned, “Have you changed the house filters? Maybe the air quality is bothering them.” (Have to give credit where credit is due!) Thank goodness he did though, because sure enough, changing the filters made a big difference on how my boys slept. Between being cooped up in the winter and having furry dogs, it can make a large impact on overall health, so when in doubt, give this one a shot.
Make Sure They Have a Full Belly
I’ve recently learned the hard way that if my toddler doesn’t care for his dinner and goes to sleep with not enough to eat, I’m in for a sleepless night. Make sure to fill up those little bellies with a bedtime snack so they’re not waking you up from your slumber looking for a midnight snack!
Potty Before Bed
Special Stuffed Animal
Black Out Curtains
Get in a Routine
So there you have it, my tips for helping your toddler get to sleep. Leave a comment below with some of your favorite tricks to get your little sweetheart into dreamland.
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