Toddlers are bundles of joy and boundless energy. However, getting them to bed each evening can be a daily battle for many parents. The more exhausted that they are, the more resistant they are to bedtime. Here are some tried and true methods to test out on your toddler:
There are numerous natural sleep remedies for babies and toddlers on the market. Essential oils probably appear at the top of the list. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to treat a range of ailments in many cultures around the world. Choosing the right essential oils can calm your toddler down at the end of a big day and help them to relax. They can have different effects on different people, so you might need to experiment a little to find the right mix for your little ones. Top of the list to try are lavender, chamomile, valerian, clary sage, and marjoram. Put a few drops in their evening bath, use a diffuser in their room or spritz their bedding.
Avoid Late Night Snacks
Tryptophan, which converts to melatonin in the body, helps you to get a good night’s rest. By feeding your child foods high in tryptophan in the evening, you can help them to get to sleep more easily. You can find it in a wide range of foods including dairy, turkey, chicken, grains like rice, white, corn, and oats, vegetables including broccoli, spinach, and asparagus, seafood, nuts, and seeds. However, a heavy meal just before bed can make it more difficult to go to sleep, so let them self-regulate the quantity that they eat. Toddlers can self-regulate their food intake very effectively.
Create a Regular Bedtime Routine
Children thrive on routine, and one of the key recommendations that sleep experts agree on is to create a solid bedtime routine. Having a predictable and consistent sequence of events that lead to bedtime each night will help your toddler wind down and make them feel secure and comforted. Try to stick to the same time every evening, so that their body clock becomes accustomed to it. You might give them a bath, pop their pajamas on, brush their teeth, and then sit down with their favorite teddy bear to read a story. It is also best to make sure that the hour in the lead up to bedtime is filled with quiet activities to ease them into their bedtime routine.
Keep Their Room as Dark as Possible
Just like most adults, toddlers sleep best in a darkened room. If your little one’s room lets in a lot of sunlight, this could be interfering with their sleep. Try installing a blackout blind, removing any toys or clocks which incorporate a light, and turning their bed away from the doorway, so the sliver of light under the door doesn’t distract them.
White Noise Machines
When babies are in the womb, they hear the constant noise of their mother’s heartbeat, breath and muffled sounds of the outside world. Some hypothesize that this is why babies and toddlers sleep so well with white noise machines. You can purchase a device to create white noise, download an app on your phone, or even play the radio in between stations to create a static sound. Start integrating a white noise machine into your toddler’s bedtime routine. It will also avoid them getting distracted by noises from inside and outside of the house.
If your toddlers sleep problems persist and you are worried that they may be linked to a condition like ADHD or sleep apnea, make an appointment to see your doctor.