To grow up as a happy and healthy child, your toddler needs at least 11 to 14 hours of sleep. We know that’s easier said than done, especially when your toddler is super energetic and too curious about the world to waste time sleeping.
As parents, we all want the best for our children, but sometimes things get challenging. To make your journey a little easier, we are sharing some of the best tips to develop a healthy sleep schedule for your toddler:
· Create a Bedtime Routine and Stick to It
Routines can be hard to establish, but children thrive in routines. The key to developing a healthy sleep schedule for your toddler also lies in the routine. It can include a light playtime, bathing, a bedtime story (preferable picture story for toddlers), and then bed. Create a routine and an atmosphere that leads to relaxation, and before you realize it, your toddler will be sleepy. Stick to the routine and follow it regularly and eventually, your toddler will start getting sleepy around the same time every day. Remember, routine creates better sleep patterns, and the same is true for older children and adults as well.
· Do not Prevent Daytime Naps
Most parents keep their toddlers awake during the day, so they get sleepy during the night. While it makes sense logically, reality doesn’t agree with it. Overtired babies have a hard time sleeping, whereas naps during the day encourage better sleep at night. So, when your baby is dozing around noon, let them nap.
· Put a Limit to the Naps
While naps are good for a better sleep schedule, make sure they are naps and not just a whole sleep session. If your toddler ends up sleeping way past 4:00 pm, they won’t be able to sleep at night so soon after. Naps are good, but only when they are limited. Make sure that the naps do not exceed more than 3 hours throughout the day.
· Make Sure It is Comfortable
Physical comfort plays a huge role in developing good sleep patterns in toddlers. Dim lights, a soft mattress, comfy clothes, and a clutter-free crib ensures that your child sleeps peacefully through the night without much fuss. Also, always put your toddler to sleep on their back.
· Ensure That Your Child is Well-Fed
While we already recommended creating a strict routine, this point is important enough to reiterate. A hungry toddler won’t sleep well, so make sure your child is well-fed before going to bed. Include this in the routine, right before playtime and bathing.
And lastly, as soon as you see your toddler getting sleepy, put them in the crib without waiting for them to sleep. This will teach them to go to sleep on their own and to sleep in their bed.
Follow these tips and tricks and before you know it, your toddler would have developed a healthy sleep routine.