Toddlers sleep a lot as they are growing and developing. There are ways to ensure that they are getting the best possible sleep patterns established. The most important factor in helping your child to establish regular sleeping patterns is to have routine and stick to it every day. When a child reaches between one and two years old, they will likely require twelve to thirteen hours of sleep per day. They may also need a nap during the daytime to feel well and be healthy. This is a time of rapid physical and mental growth and development, and the body requires proper rest.
Have your child go to bed at a regular time. Do not put your child to bed until you are fairly sure that they are going to be able to fall asleep with thirty minutes of going to bed. If your child goes to bed and is not able to relax, try to offer some soft music or quiet story time until they fall asleep. The process of going to bed should not be long and drawn out as this creates much frustration for the parent. It also fails to teach your child that when in bed you should be ready to go to sleep. Do things in the same order every night before bed.
If bath time comes first and then a warm drink of something, then do it in that order each time. Be careful not to offer your child anything other than water, low sugar juice, or milk at bedtime. Do not offer your child cocoa or stimulants such as pop which are unhealthy or which are likely to create interference with your child’s ability to sleep.
If your child is not complacent to go to sleep and tries to whine his way out of bed, you need to stick to the plan. By allowing your child to come out of bed and watch television or do another activity, you will only make it more difficult to go to bed the next night. Offer the child a favorite toy to sleep with and perhaps use a night lite if the child is scared to be in the dark. Sit in the dark with your child and talk about happy subjects as he is trying to settle. A calm and quiet environment is necessary to calm a toddlers mind. They have likely been overloaded with sensory stimulation for the entire day.
It can take time to develop new habits for bedtime routines but eventually they will become desirable for your child. Your child will feel better from getting a better night’s sleep, and behave better as he is taught how to have a regular bedtime routine.