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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!