They say that 90 percent of parenting is about thinking when you can lie down again! Caring for a child is a demanding business. They keep you on your toes all the time. This may especially be the case with toddlers. Your little toddler is a powerhouse of energy, untiringly bumping into things with little willingness to rest. Sleep is important for the physical and mental growth of your toddler. So, even when they are tucked in bed, there is serious business going on within them, including growth, memorization and learning. Studies suggest that the most intense phase of growth hormone release is shortly after the beginning of deep sleep.
While you may be craving a nap after a long day, your toddler may find snoozing the least interesting thing to do. Most toddlers need about 10 to 14 hours of sleep a day, which includes one to two daytime naps. By the time a toddler reaches 18 months of age, they may have a single afternoon nap instead of two naps. If you think your toddler is not getting enough sleep, you can help them by
- Making sleep times fun. Do not lose your cool trying to put your little one to sleep. Toddler sleep problems are generally coupled with separation anxiety and a fear of missing out. This may make your toddler stubborn and cranky at bedtime. You may make your toddler feel confident and calm by doing activities, such as letting them choose their nightwear and pampering them with lullabies and bedtime stories.
- Keeping a regular bedtime schedule. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps ensure that your child gets sufficient sleep. This helps train your toddler’s mind to sleep on schedule.
- Keeping all screens away. Turn off TV screens, bright lights, computers and keep away the smartphone at least two hours before bedtime.
- Making your toddler follow certain routine activities before bedtime. These include brushing teeth, taking a bath or changing into pajamas.
- Making your toddler’s sleeping space clean and comfortable. You may place a cuddley soft toy in your toddler’s crib. Make the bedroom a quiet place with a temperature that is comfortable for your toddler. Avoid using sleep positioners for the toddler because they can be risky. Also, do not share the bed with your child since it may put your child at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Putting your toddler to bed when they are sleepy and not when they have dozed off. It will help your toddler to learn how to sleep on their own.
- Ensuring a balanced daytime schedule. This can be done by making sure that your little one has enough activity during the day and avoiding frequent daytime naps. No screens, including smartphones, must be allowed on your toddler’s bed even during the day.
- Providing a healthy diet to your toddler. Eating healthy is necessary for comfortable sleep. Frequent awakenings may be caused by hunger or acid reflux caused by a heavy meal. Avoid giving junk foods to your toddler. Caffeinated cold drinks are a strict no-no for a child.