Our kids have a lot of energy, this much is for certain! One thing that is not always so certain, however, is if we’ll be able to easily get them to sleep each night or if it will be a painstaking, futile effort filled with fussiness. Most of us can almost count on the latter of the two. And especially during a time like the holiday season where excitement is in the air, this can be doubly difficult to achieve. So how exactly to we help calm our kids down before bed? For their sake…and for ours! Let’s talk about some options.
Avoid electronics with bright blue lights before bed
We live in a very digital world now. A large portion of our days are spent staring at a screen, whether it be a watching a show on the tube or playing games on our phones. The high amount of eye exposure to these lights, and namely that of blue lights, has been known to excite the brain, ultimately deterring from restfulness and translating to heightened brain activity.
If your little one usually spends the last part of their day watching television or tinkering on your iPad, this may be a culprit in their inability to get to sleep soundly without issue. Consider alternative options for winding down at the end of the night. These screens can be an easy go-to, but they do more harm than good for your toddler’s sleep.
Read a book to them before bed
As you’re considering solutions to problem one, why not give reading books before bed a try?! The benefits of taking an approach like this are many-fold. For one, reading books with your little one before they hit the hay will alleviate the blue light issue from before, and furthermore it will provide an option that generally encourages restfulness. Reading or being read to, telling stories, are all effective ways of helping kids get to sleep more easily.
Aside from that, as far as being read to is concerned, this could provide additional benefits for a child’s sleep. As you’re reading to them, they will feel more at ease and comfortable as they lull off to sleep. As they reach an age where they do the reading themselves, the association between stories and comfort will have been made for them mentally, so they will be able to sleep just as well as they make this transition. Reading, a great way to end the day!
Avoid naps too late in the day and keep them short
Part of why your kiddo may not be sleeping so well at nice may have less to do with restlessness and more to do with maybe being too well rested. What do we mean? Well, we’ll answer this is the form of a couple questions. How often does your toddler nap? For how long? What is the latest time in the day that they will typically nap?
If your toddler is napping too much during the day, napping for too long during each nap, or napping too soon before bedtime, this could absolutely have an adverse affect on their ability to rest easy when the time comes at night. That being the case, what we’ll recommend here is being mindful of those nap times and making revisions if and when you see fit. For all you know, this may be the problem.
Set up a comfortable sleeping environment for your toddler
Let’s not forget the obvious here. And let’s address it from your perspective. When you lay down at night, you generally prefer a really uncomfortable, uneasy sleeping environment, right?… Of course not! You like to be comfortable and at peace in your space. Your toddler probably feels the same way! One obvious way to manage this is to equip them with a quality mattress, quality bedding, and a quality pillow. Did we mention quality, by chance?
How else do we reach this? Another way is nurturing your toddler’s development of a space that is truly theirs. Help them decorate it with things they like, things that put them at ease. This will certainly make them feel more at home in their space and help they get to bed more easily.
In conclusion, sometimes our little ones can have a difficult time getting to bed at the end of each night. While it might not always be easy to combat this fussy behavior, there are definitely things that could be done in an effort to do so. Give these listed methods a shot and see how they work for your toddler, and remember that for all of your toddler needs, look to the pros at Dreamtown Kids!