If your child is 3-5 years old, you should know that these are the years when a toddler takes forever to fall asleep. It is because children this age have a greater capacity to stay up later than their parents would like. As they get older, it gets easier to put them down for the night.
What Benefits Can Toddlers Get From a Good Sleep?
Although there are some instances where you and your child can stay up past your bedtime, this is not the norm. Children need to get enough sleep because it will help them have better daytime functioning. It means that they will learn and grow without harming themselves or experiencing more negative health issues. Here are ten benefits that your toddlers can get from having enough sleep:
- Proper growth and development.
- More energy for playing and learning.
- A better mood for the day ahead.
- A healthy immune system that lessens the chance of getting sick every time they are exposed to germs and viruses around the home or in school.
- Ability to conquer more challenges as they learn how to cope with new situations each day.
- Less likely to have behavioral problems as they get older.
- Better cognitive skills, which would spell higher intelligence scores as they go through school years.
- Longer attention span since they will be able to hold onto the information longer.
- A better mood for the day ahead.
- More restful nights for both you and your child because your child is no longer experiencing nightmares or night terrors.
But if you have a toddler who has a hard time going to sleep, there are things you can do to improve her odds of getting to sleep sooner. Here are ten things that will help your child fall asleep faster.
How to Get Your Toddler to Go to Sleep and Stay Asleep
Keep it dark and quiet.
Many parents do not realize that a child’s body prefers the degree of darkness and silence that comes with nighttime. It means no television or video games in the bedroom or right outside the bedroom, including cell phone light coming from under the door. This is also essential not to have the television on all day in the background. It will prepare your child’s body for a quiet, dark, and restful night.
Establish a nighttime routine.
A solid routine is essential in helping your toddler get his sleep schedule down pat. It gives him an idea of what to expect before bedtime, and it allows you to help him choose one or two activities that he can look forward to every night. The routine should be the same night after night. It will help your child get in the habit of going right to sleep after the training is over.
Don’t allow naps during the day.
If your toddler has a hard time sleeping at night, you don’t want to let him sleep during the day because this will make it harder for him to sleep at bedtime. Like adults, toddlers need a solid block of sleep at night to feel rested and refreshed when they wake up in the morning.
Make their room comfortable.
A toddler will be much more likely to fall asleep in his bed is close enough to his parent’s bed to see or hear them while he is trying to lose sleep. Also, don’t make the bed too big. It should be small enough so that your child cannot simply roll over and wake up.
Encourage your child to take a short nap during the day.
If your toddler refuses to sleep for the night, offer her a short nap during the day. It will help her body get tired enough to fall asleep at bedtime. Most toddlers can nap during the day and then have a good night’s sleep at night.
Help your child reduce daytime naps by playing games that are more stimulating than relaxing.
It’s essential to keep the opposite in mind when it comes to daytime naps. If you try to play games that are more stimulating than relaxing (such as Monopoly, Scrabble, or even a computer), you can put your child to bed earlier than usual at night because she will be too tired for a nap.
Make sure your toddler is getting enough rest during the day.
For your child’s body to function at its best, it must stay rested and refreshed all day long. Too much of anything is often just as bad as too little. Try to make sure your child is getting plenty of rest during the day and that he isn’t overtired.
Don’t leave your child in a car seat all day long.
Car seats are made specifically for children who are not old enough to sit up on their own or who can’t safely hold their head up and look forward while they are in the seat. For this reason, you mustn’t let your child stay in his car seat all day while you shop or run errands. It can cause him to become overtired. This can also make it hard for him to sleep at the end of the day.
Don’t respond to your child’s cries for attention at night until she is awake.
When a child cries at night, it is incredibly tempting to go in there and comfort him. Often, this encourages him to cry even harder, thinking that you will come in and pick him up. Instead, wait until he is awake before going into his room the first time. If he is distraught or has a genuine problem, he will call out again.
Set a timer if your child tends to play when she’s supposed to be sleeping.
For some children, it takes time to realize that they are not going to fall asleep. It can be because they feel bored or lonely or even excited about a new toy that you got them. Either way, setting a timer for 15 minutes is a good idea. It will give your kid a chance to adjust to the darkness and silence of the room. At this point, if a toddler takes forever to fall asleep, talk to him and see if there’s something else that you can do for him. If the toddler takes forever to fall asleep, it’s time to go back into the room and try again.
If he starts crying, you have two choices. You can either comfort him by making sure that you don’t talk about the toys or about anything stressful and only offer him some love and reassurance. Or, you can let him cry for a few minutes if you are confident that he will not hurt himself or cause any damage. If he’s mildly upset, he’ll probably stop crying after a few minutes. If he calls for longer than ten minutes, check on him. When you see that he is distraught and can’t calm himself down, go ahead and comfort him. If you don’t see any sign of that at all after ten minutes, let him continue to cry it out until he falls asleep.
Now that you’ve read these ten tips, you must try them out with your child to make sure they don’t do more harm than good. Remember, children need time to adjust to their environment and their sleep. It’s okay to let him cry a little bit and try the next night again. Don’t forget that there are no bad habits that can’t be broken by patience and love.
It may seem like a lot of work, but you can quickly implement some of these tips into your child’s life.
Should you have other tips that you can suggest for a parent who has a toddler that takes forever to fall asleep, please send us a message now.