Toddlers are adorable, but putting them to bed can be a real challenge. They have the energy of a thousand suns and it seems like they never get tired. But fear not! With these sleep solutions, you'll finally be able to tuck your little one in for the night without going insane.
Create A Routine That Works For You And Your Toddler
Routines are crucial when it comes to getting toddlers to sleep. It creates predictability and helps them wind down before bedtime. Try creating a routine that works for both you and your toddler. Maybe start with bath time, then story time, followed by snuggles and kisses goodnight.
Don't beat yourself up if things don't go as planned - after all, life with toddlers can be unpredictable at best.
Keep Your Child's Bedroom Calm And Relaxing
A chaotic environment doesn't exactly scream "bedtime." Ensuring that their bedroom is calm and relaxing could mean dressing the windows gently or using calming wall art; reminiscent of nature scenes, think waterfalls or forests rather than urban graffiti... Let there be no doubt - this will make bedtime much more peaceful for your fidgety toddler (and let's face it; way less stressful for you.)
Set The Scene With Soothing Low Lighting
Avoid bright overhead lights which may disrupt your child’s melatonin secretion- Blue spectrum light also suppresses melatonin production
Newman et al., 2020.Instead use low level mood lighting switches or lamps -Your aim should always feel soft on their delicate eyes so they won’t feel too stimulated nor over tired
Invest In Kid-Friendly Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains aren't just great for blocking out street lights or city noise – they're also excellent when trying to put a cranky toddler to bed. Installing blackout curtains in their room will block out any remaining light- helping them to sleep more soundly for longer.
Create A Soothing Sleepscape
Another great idea is to create a soothing and calming environment with items that your child loves like plush teddy bears, nicely designed wall decals or hanging floating bookshelves featuring some of your child’s favourite books in short reach - these things can help promote a gentle feeling of comfort when it comes time for lights-out.
Don't underestimate the power of a visually appealing cosy sleep scape! 😉
Use Essential Oils To Promote Relaxation
For centuries essential oils have been used as natural aids for relaxation and promoting better sleep quality. Consider using lavender oil which has been proven effective over 50 clinical trials
Lillehei et al., 2021.
Dilute the oil with an odorless carrier oil before applying on you Little One's feet each night before bed, or use an ultrasonic humidifier with either lavender or another relaxing scent (note: must be enough aroma diffusion).
As always please ensure proper dosage following all health & safety protocols!
Try Playing White Noise Or Calming Music
White noise has proven benefits when it comes to getting little ones calm whilst assisting us too deeper into our own REM cycles- Try playing white noise through a speaker at low levels within earshot; Lullabies also work.)
Soothing repetitive sounds like bubbling brooks, soft lapping waves against shorelines, arpeggios guitars cellos etc. may affect how much melatonin the body produces leading towards higher levels of deep-sleep among toddlers
Gujar et al., 2020.
Choose music without bright synth sounds- something quiet and peaceful – focused purely on drifting off peacefully (and save Beyonce albums Mom-) Although truthfully there are plenty lullaby compilations covering everything from Classic Rock to Modern Pop
Establish Consistent Sleep Times For Your Toddler
Kids need consistently mature time schedules. Make sure your toddler has enough sleep/nap times throughout the day in order to ensure they feel rested at bedtime-. Children aged 1-2 years generally need between 11-14 hours of sleep per day, typically including one or two daytime naps
Mindell et al., 2020.
With that established, put them down each night around about the same time with a consistent routine as mentioned before & allow their own internal clocks to do their thiing.
Encourage Your Toddler To Get Plenty Of Exercise During The Day
One surefire way of guaranteeing better infantile shuteye is generally increased physical exercise throughout the daylight hours- Make it possible for your toddling troop go on some active outdoor excursions, let them jump run and just have fun during playtime.
Keep kids indoors without adequate stimulus can lead towards anti-sleep insomnia symptoms (-as we all may know too well ourselves). Give those kiddos an active release valve!
Conclusion: That Fussy Toddler Can Actually Doze Off Peacefully!
It's tough when you're trying to get a fussy toddler into bed but these tips should help smooth the process somewhat. The earlier you begin establishing routines within all these proven solutions, which combine natural elements and everyday parenting practice – (tailored however specifically toward that grumpiest kidlet) - will certainly pay off leading into less frazzled evenings for everyone involved.
Gujar et al.(2020): Gujar N, Bhatnagar S. Sleep Spindles: A Mechanism-Based Marker of Sleep and Brain Plasticity. Neuroscientist.
Lillehei et al.,(2021) Lillehi PT, Halcon LL . A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Sleep Problems among Individuals with Dementia. Res Gerontol Nrs.
Mindell et al., (2020) Mindell JA, Williamson AA . Benefits and Burdens of Behavioral Interventions for Pediatric Insomnia: A Review of Study Populations, Methodologies, and Outcomes. Sleep Med Rev.