Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to (Really) Get Your Toddler to Sleep

get kids to sleep

Me: Bella, play time is over. It's time to sleep.

Bella: No, it's not! I will not rest!

If you are a parent, for sure, we share the same sentiments when it comes to putting our toddlers to sleep. They always want to play and play and never take a rest at all. Kids seem to never get tired. Merely looking at Bella playing makes me feel exhausted. I feel like she is already tired but just resists to retire to bed.

I know it isn't just me. You feel the same way too. And like me, you would be asking how to really let your little ones sleep early or at least without the hassle of running after them or without the faces of disapproval from our little ones. Oh, well. This is part of parenthood and this is one challenging part that we need to face.

When Bella was younger, it was easy to let her sleep. I'll just breastfeed her and she'll doze off. Piece of cake. No sweat. As a matter of fact, I can work on the computer while she gets her milk and sleep. Talk about multitasking! But those were the days when I was still breastfeeding and she wasn't as active as she is today.

But today is different. I know how she feels whenever I tell her it is time to take a nap in the afternoon and it's time to rest from her long day of play time in the evening because I felt the same way when I was still a kid. I HATE to nap. I feel like it was a hindrance to my fun and that those who are trying to put me to sleep are total kill joys! So, I just pretend that I was sleeping. And I'll check the time if it is already okay to wake up. Lol. While my younger brother was sleeping, I was merely closing my eyes until wake up time. And guess what? Of course, I always get up ahead of my brother. I'll just put a hotdog pillow beside him before I leave the bedroom so that he will think I was still there. Not that I look like a hotdog pillow, though. It's just that feeling of having someone beside you while you sleep. Still sounds crazy. Lol

As I put myself into Bella's shoes, I realized that it is really hard for her to sleep and nap. Honestly, I have Googled "how to get your toddler sleep" or "easy ways to put a child to sleep". I asked Google not once but many times. I saw articles written by Moms and I was dismayed with one article that claimed it was easy to let the child sleep from A-Z. Imagine that, A-Z means 26 ways. How could that be easy? I saw other moms who shared that post on Facebook and were also not happy about the 26 easy ways. 

Oh forget about that. I'm going to share to you some ways that I found effective in letting Bella sleep. But I'm not sure if it will apply to you because kids are different. If you haven't tried this, give it a try. You won't loose anything from trying.

Before bedtime, inform your toddler that it will be time for sleep in a few minutes. Remind them of the things you will do before going to bed. Make this a routine too. Remember not to feed your kids with large meals when bed time is near. But let them snack a little if they want to.

1. Set the bedroom into resting aura. Do this by keeping her toys and books. You can turn off the lights too if that is okay with your child. Bella doesn't like to sleep when its dark. Once your kid can see that the fun is really over, he might just rest as well.

2. Talk about rewards. Tell your child that if he will sleep, he will give you his favorite snack when he wakes up. Or if it is night time, tell him that you are going to do something exciting the next day. Make sure to keep your promise ALL the time! If not, then you will not be effective. Always remember not to forget to give them whatever things you promised them as a reward for sleeping. This way, they will feel that it is really important to sleep and that whenever they obey you, they reap the good fruit!

3. Freshen up and give them milk. This is a usual thing that we moms give our kids before sleeping time. It does help them to get a good sleep.

4. Tell stories. Bella loves bedtime stories. But sometimes, I get tired reading to her. You know why? She is not contented with just one or two books. It would always be 6 to 10 books! My throat gets fry from reading! But yah, she goes to sleep after she is done listening to her stories.

5. Sing and massage. Don't just sing. Massage his feet or arms while you sing. You can also rub his back or tummy or wherever he wants to. This would be soothing and they will feel relaxed when you do this. Bella would always ask me to this to her. And it is effective.

Be sure also that your bedroom is well ventilated and your kid is comfortable in the bed.  I know some of you have tried doing the above things. If you think it doesn't work. Try to think of other ways too. You know your children. You know what works for them best. Sometimes, you've got to try harder too. Just look at it as a skill that you need to perfect!

So, it's sleeping time for Bella now. Time for a box of books for her bed time stories again. Really, this storytelling time kills my throat! Speaking of box, I made her a box for her books. Once you see it, you will get the idea of how many books she would ask me to read. In truth, I hide the others then I change the books in her books from time to time. Shhhh..don't tell her!Lol.

Sweet dreams. 

If you want to save this post or share it to other parents, feel free to use the infographic below that I have made featuring Lalaloopsy Pillow Featherbed. If you;ll ask why Pillow, it's because she loves sleeping so much. You might even wish your kids are as eager as her when it comes to bedtime!

how to get your toddler to sleep

Moms have different ways of putting toddlers to bed. Can you add some to the tips I have above? Feel free to leave your comments below. I'll be glad to hear from you!

24 (mga) komento:

I just read somewhere (maybe Parent magazine?) that a sleep pass might work. If they stall about going to bed or wake up they turn the pass over to you and if they make it through the night or week with the pass they get a reward... I may try that along with your other tips!

It's definitely a struggle in our house too! My one year old still goes to bed pretty easily, but my 4 year old has fought sleep his entire life. He's like a little hummingbird...he just goes and goes at a speed nobody can keep up with, until he passes out. We've found that what works best with him is routine and allowing him to have a few toys/books in his bed. He has to go to bed, but does not have to go to sleep as long as he stays in his bed and plays or reads quietly.

We started a really great bedtime routine for her that works great. But my daughter is really into routines and thrives on structure. She really needs a schedule. The time bedtime starts is flexible but it always starts with her meds (she has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis), brush teeth, bath, pajamas, books, then lights out. She rarely tries to stall and will usually fall asleep within 15 minutes of the lights turning off. Works great for us so far!

Oh I remember those days….
I believe a routine works best. Giving into cuddles and rocking in the rocking chair works too.

I am so happy to be beyond nap times and the arguing, but my five year old still falls asleep in the car on long drives, LOL. I wish adults were allowed to take naps during the work day :-)

I remember the days when my niece sleeps beside me. She's very talkative that she asks a lot of questions. I even fell asleep first before she did. I must say that the tips mentioned above will be very effective specially "the reward" thingy because it was also my strategy for so many times in the past. lol

I remember when I play with toddlers I end up getting sleepy and they end up sleeping beside me. The tips above would really set them to sleep.

well i am unmarried but these thing swill help in future ,really awesome and live article

I mostly do all the tips above except the massage part. A bath before bed time also helps them relax. My son is pretty much easy to get to sleep and I hope it does not change as he gets older!

I watched a show and they actually try to tire the kids out by letting them use up their energy before sleeping!

The concept of the doll is adorable!! Unfortunately, I have no kids yet but I'm going to share this with my cousin with newborns! :D

Thank you for the great advice! I love reading bedtime stories to my 4 years old son :)

Your tips and methods are really practical! I'll make sure to check back here when I find myself taking care of a toddler.

My son doesn't take a nap in the afternoon so I have no problem at night. I used to worry before because he is not taking a nap like other kids but I just let it go, I can't force him to sleep if he is not sleepy. :)

These are good tips. Good thing, when my son was still toddler, I didn't have a hard time putting him to sleep.

I'm not really a massage-type person but it looks like you had a really complete and relaxing experience there. Glad you had a good time. Sounds like the masseuse didn't cut corners at all. check body massage in Dubai The prices with the promo sound surprisingly reasonable too.

As a child, I do not take naps. I still don't nap as an adult. I felt I need to be productive during the day. Good that you now know how to manage the sleeping schedule of Bella.

I share the same sentiments as well as the name of your daughter. My youngest name is Bella. ^_^

As for me, I read her stories or just lay in the bed with her. Now, as I lay beside her, I use my fingers to comb her hair. She sleeps faster that way. ^_^

Yes definitely one of our struggles! Especially if your toddlers are twins! What actually work for us are number 3! Even if they are done with their milk after a few seconds they will ask for another bottle. And one trick is for making them sleep is to let them exhausted from playing but not too much because it will wet the bedsheets hehehe

My kids are bigger now but hey, I do know a thing or two. The thing with children is that there is no one way to do things and what works for one child doesn't mean it works for the other one.

Through it all, especially for kids who tend to cry when it is time to sleep and they wanted to play, is to control temper and never engage.

Rewards can be good, although I have a personal thing against rewards. Milk is good 30 minutes before lying down on bed. Calcium is also a muscle relaxant. I used to hum and even if I was told by some that children get used to it and will look for it, same as rubbing or caressing. My kids sort of just outgrew it. I refuse to tell stories because we always end up talking. :)

These are all great tips! With my experience, what I do with my kids is to make some milk, then let them scratch my belly button, because somehow they get more relaxed doing that. then BAM! they're asleep in no time!

BTW, I remembered this really funny Children's book made for adults. I think you should check it out for laughs. Just type in youtube, "Nick Fury reads Go the F**k to sleep", but please, when you listen to it, make sure the kiddos are asleep hahaha

Oh my, I experience this right now! The tot has discovered how to say "Naw" (No) so bedtimes are difficult. As a work around, I tell him that we'll play instead in the morning. I also switch off the lights so he has no choice but to cuddle of next to me :)

These are great tips for any mother, but for a new mom like me it is a post to bookmark. Right now my little one is almost a year old so yes it is harder getting him to nap but for now he is pretty good about it. I hear the terrible two's are the hard days, so I still have a bit of time to practice and incorporate some of these tips.

Awesome tips! I know a few new moms and they always tell me that putting their babies to sleep is so difficult. All parents deserve a round of applause! Sacrifice so much :D

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