Many young children face sleeping problems which are not only frustrating for the parents, but for the kids themselves. Toddlers that are not well-rested end up very cranky the next day. Even if they have a nap during the day. It is crucial for these children to get a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, many parents are fit to be tied due to dealing with a restless toddler at night and are in dire need of help so they can get their kids to sleep.
Creating a bedtime routine is crucial for your toddler, as well as your child of any other age. If you are an exhausted parent that is tired of fighting with your restless toddler at night, the following tips will help you create a routine that will help your toddler not only fall asleep but stay asleep.
Consult Your Toddler’s Pediatrician
Before you make changes on your own in regards to finding new ways to create a bedtime routine for your toddler, it is highly recommended to discuss the sleep issue with your child’s pediatrician. There could be issues that are coming into play that may have nothing to do with your toddler’s behavior which is causing him or her to be restless at night. The following issues may be:
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and food allergies. Many times if your child is not receiving the right types of foods that will meet his or her nutritional needs, or if there is a mild food allergy present- his or her sleep will be affected. The doctor may want to refer your toddler to an allergist and pediatric nutritionist to make an assessment.
- Changes in the environment that is causing emotional distress. Have you started to toilet train your toddler, or did you move him or her out of a crib and into the bed recently? Did you bring in a new baby sibling recently? Your child is understandably having a negative reaction to these changes because they are life-changing. It is important to bring this up to your child’s pediatrician who will then be able to give you some tips on how to help your toddler get to sleep and stay asleep at night.
- Blood sugar irregularities. A restless toddler at night could be the rest of blood sugar imbalances, and the only way that can be determined is if blood work is done- which may point out possible other causes if blood sugar levels are normal.
Allow Your Toddler to Wind Down Before Bed
If you send your child to bed right after giving him or her a bath, then it is no wonder you have a restless toddler at night! It is crucial that your child is able to wind down for a good half hour to an hour before putting him or her to bed. Here are some ideas to help your toddler wind down.
- Read a bedtime story. Kids love being read bedtime stories! If you make the reading experience enjoyable and calming, your toddler will be more receptive to going to bed and staying in bed.
- Put on soothing music. Soothing music playing in your toddler’s room, somewhere that is out of reach can help your child fall asleep. You can buy an inexpensive CD player and buy a CD that plays relaxing music for kids. You can also get an iPad which must be kept out of reach, and there is an app that you can get called Sleep Meditations for Kids. It plays wonderful and relaxing music for kids of all ages, including toddlers.
Make Sure Your Toddler Feels Secure
If your toddler is not feeling secure, then it is no wonder bedtime can be like having a war! Security is crucial. Creating a set routine, in general, makes your child feel secure. Therefore, if you have a set time which you designate for bedtime every night, then your child will expect that and also accept it. In addition to that, make sure your child has the following:
- Nightlight. Kids need some lighting in their rooms in order to feel secure. They are still quite afraid of the dark. As long as there is a nightlight, they will not view bedtime as scary.
- Toys and stuffed animals. If the toy is safe for your child to sleep next to, whether it is a stuffed animal or something else, if your toddler can take it to bed, then that provides the security that he or she needs.
If bedtime is an awful experience for you and your child, and you are at your wits end with trying to get your restless toddler at night into bed- and to stay in bed- then you need advice on how to get your child to sleep! If you utilize the tips above, then the bedtime wars should end. Best of luck!