At the same time, there’s also no denying that it is one of the most important things that needs to be done for kids, since lack of quality sleep can make it difficult for them to control their emotions, not to mention, they may become irritable and cranky. This might eventually lead to behavioral problems and trouble concentrating while learning.
According to reputable toddler care East Hanover, NJ providers, toddlers need about 12-13 hours of sleep every day, which is usually 10-12 hours at night and a nap of one or two hours during the daytime. A consistent bedtime routine is the key to helping toddlers prepare for sleep. If you haven’t established a bedtime routine when your child was a baby, no worries, you can start one now. Following a set pattern every night helps kids feel more relaxed and they are able to fall asleep more easily, which can be attributed to the predictability of knowing what is in store for them which makes them feel safe and secure.
The key to helping your little one sleep soundly is by creating a soothing bedtime routine, and for that you are required to know the basics of a good bedtime routine, which are as follows:
Fix regular bed timings- Kids look up to their parents and follow in their footsteps as they grow up. Developing a bedtime routine for your kids largely depends on making sleep a priority on the part of the entire family. Setting regular go-to-bed and wake-up times for the entire family and following them will automatically make your kid follow the same. These timings must even be followed on the weekends, even if you’re not at home. In a new surrounding, the familiarity in terms of the fixed bed timings will make it easy for him to settle down. Make sure your child stays on schedule and you stick with your daily routine, which will stand both you and your child in good stead.
Address the sleep troubles- Look out for signs including trouble falling asleep, snoring, waking up in the middle of the night, difficulty breathing, etc. during sleep- these are signs that your kid is having sleep struggles. If you see any of these signs, or your kid being cranky, sleepy or feeling exhausted during daytime (due to lack of sleep), it’s advised to seek medical help.
Brush your toddler’s teeth- You might be tempted to skip this part because of a battle that the activity always appears to turn into, but nighttime brushing is extremely important to prevent dental issues and teach kids to look after their teeth properly (bacteria can build up at night and attack those petite pearly whites). Over time, this activity will become synonymous with the fact that it’s time to sleep.
Offer a bedtime snack- It's been a while since dinner — and it's a long way to breakfast, and a hunger striking in the midnight can disturb the kid’s sleep. So give your toddler a little bite, such as whole-grain cereal with milk or a piece of fruit before bedtime to tide him through the night. Also, avoid large meals before getting kids to bed.
Give your toddler a bath- There's nothing like warm water to calm a body down, and it also applies for a toddler. A warm bath will be soothing for your child. However, if your kids don’t enjoy baths, just washing their face and hands will also do.
Read a bedtime story- Reading books together can be quality time spent together. Cuddle up together in the same spot every night (whatever spot is comfortable), and read whatever his favorite happens to be at the moment. Do not go for stories that involve monsters. Aside from this, you can also play his favorite lullaby, or listen to some songs, snuggle together, and sing or hum.
Last thing- Goodnight kisses and hugs- After you’re done with your story or song, tuck them into bed with his special stuffed animal and turn on the night-light, then plant a kiss and give a hug, and then say good night. This way, you are letting your kids know that it’s time for them to sleep tight.