Toddler Sleep Problems - Solved!
By the age of three a toddler requires eleven hours of consistent, quality sleep. Toddler sleep problems stand in the way of this and can lead tohealth issues such as a lower immunity, temper tantrums, a slower brainfunction, and a poor diet, to name a few.
For many toddlers just the mention
that "It is
bedtime" sends them into sheer disarray. (1) Crying and a defiant
attitude usually accompany this disarray.This is the start of the
bedtime nightmare for parents. (2)The continuance of their crying or
temper tantrum once they are in bed. (3) Getting them to stay in bed
without screaming after the parent leaves the room. (4) Not getting out
of bed in the middle of the night, when they wake up.
1. Shshsh.... Dont say the words "Its bedtime." or anything even close to.Instead use atmosphere and quality time with your toddler to let him know it's time to wind down. This manipulation should begin 20 minutes BEFORE the time you put in place for your toddler to be in bed.
Create a cozy, calm and quiet atmosphere. Dim the lights, watch a little Animal Planet and cuddle with your toddler. A baby massage is a wonderful relaxation technique for both parent and toddler and can be done as part of the winding down process.
2. Find and Remind. On the way to his room, think of something fun and exciting for your toddler to do the next day. It could be an afternoon of play dough fun, or perhaps he has a party to go to, or finger painting, or a play in the park. Remind him of it. A little secret: tell him you are looking forward to doing it with him (ensure that you are able to do this. Otherwise do not offer this statement.
3. The Bedroom: short and sweet. This is an area many parents get wrong. At bedtime your toddler's bedroom should be within the same atmosphere as when you were winding him down. Prepare his bedroom before you start the winding down process. Bedroom atmosphere encompasses a night light and soft music.
The time you spend in your toddler's room after he is in bed needs to be short and sweet. Sit on edge of the bed next to your toddler and read a story, softly. Stroke his hair or use his favorite toy. Quietly remind him of the fun that awaits him the next day if he gets a good night rest. Mention that you are also very tired and heading off to bed. Kiss him goodnight and off you go.
4. When he starts to cry, tell him you love him and you will check on him in a bit before you go to bed. Ignore his crying. While in his room do not appear stressed. Know in your mind that all will be well. Your toddler will feel this and it will help him adjust to his new bedtime routine.
In 9 out of 10 cases your toddler will fall asleep very shortly. However, if you prolong your time in his room and show your fear of his crying he will recognize this and use it as a tool to get you to stay until he falls asleep, which causes him to stay awake longer, lessoning his sleep time and lessoning your free time.
Toddler sleep problems can yield an unhealthy toddler, and although a bedtime routine can take some time to firmly take effect, fixing toddler sleep problems has many rewards for parent and toddler. All good things come in time, so be consistent and adhere to the bedtime routine on a nightly basis.
About the Author
Michel's toddler has been an independent sleeper since age one, gaining parental and personal freedom in the evenings - something every parent should have. She invites you to join her in these freedoms and help your baby sleep independently.
FREE "Bedtime Delights" to help parent and child while working through a sleep routine. Bedtime Delights.
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