Monday, November 12, 2012

Toddler Sleep

So, if your like me and many other mothers out there, then you've had sleep issues with your little one. Unless your one of those people who miraculously have a great sleeper from day one! I'm so jealous by the way! LOL!

(Little man & Daddy)
I have been having all kinds of sleep problems with my 2 year old. I have read MANY books and articles online. I'm now here to share some of my new knowledge with you in case you might be struggling as well. First off I want to say there are no quick fixes. Be patient with your child. Do not yell or scold them. They are just naturally curious and do not know how to shut down properly. Always be kind! :)

*Have a set routine about 1 hour before bed. Make it the same every night. If your child hates baths, then start with that to get it over with. Many parents put their kids straight to bed after a bath and this causes them to freak out and hate baths. So do it first if you need to and add the fun things later! It's always a great idea to end the night with a 15 minute book reading. Reading helps young minds unwind and settle down. Other things to include are any quiet activities. No running or chasing or tickling! LOL! My kiddo likes to play with his Mega Blocks and other toys. Video games and TV stimulate the mind, so try to shut those off 2 hours before bed.

*Is your child hungry? A pre-bedtime snack is perfectly acceptable and may even help your little drift off to sleep and stay asleep. Healthy starchy foods are a good pick. Toast, all natural peanut butter, apple, yogurt, cheese, bananas, and almonds are all good choices.

*Did your child take a nap today? Naps help create a healthy sleep rhythm. If your child is under the age of 4, then they still need to be taking naps. If not, chances are your kiddo is running on adrenaline and is over tired at bedtime causing them to stay up REAL late and fight bed time! Tantrums galore is what you'll see here! Even midnight awaking are caused by this. They think it's nap so 3-4 hours into the night, they are up and wanting you! If your child is anything like mine, they might not want to stop for a nap. That's okay. Close all the shades and create a nice calm and quiet environment. Make it dark and turn off all TV's and electronic games. Have your child play quietly. I give mine some warm milk, banana, and lay him on the sofa with a cozy blanket and pillow. I then read to him quietly and 9 times out of 10 he drifts off to sleep! The rest of the time we just keep things slow and quiet for an hour so he can at least rest his little body. :)

*Get your child a lovey! Mine is struggling with this. He doesn't cuddle a toy at night. This is something we are working on. A lovey can make them feel secure and safe. It can help them drift off to sleep without your help. I suggest trying to encourage a popular toy as a lovie and getting 2, one for back up! I say popular because if you loose your back up you might still be able to find a replacement. I'm trying with a small stuffed Elmo doll as well as a Yoshi. Yes, my son loves Mario! LOL! When they drift off tuck the lovie in with them. Both for naps and at night.

*EXERCISE! This is a big one folks! Your child needs the right amount of exercise. Not just for health benefits, but for sleep as well. Aim for 30 minutes of high activity in the day before nap time and aim for about at LEAST 1 hour of high activity in the evening, no later than 2 hours before bed.  Get out and PLAY! Chase each other and have fun! If it's cold, then wear warm clothes! No excuses! It's good for both of you and your little one will sleep better and so will you! :)

*Attachment issues. This is our son! He has to have one of us near him to fall asleep. We do our 15 minutes of reading and then it's lights off! Me or husband (usually husband) sits or lays next to him until he drifts off to sleep. Wich if you do all the above things, it shouldn't take long. You can wean yourself from this by simply saying "I'll be right back" leave, wait 2 minutes, come back for about 5-10 minutes, then again "I'll be right back". Repeat, repeat, repeat. After a while you leave for longer periods of time until they can sleep on their own. No shame here people! We've all at some point stayed in the room with your munchkins until they drift off! :)

*Crib mattress!! UNCOMFY! Some kids can sleep anywhere! Even on the hard floor! But usually they pass out there. They are not usually "put to bed" on the floor. So why make them sleep on something as hard as the floor?! Have you tried out that crib mattress lately? WOWZA! Those things are so uncomfy! I spent the night cuddled in my little mans bed one night when he was sick and I had an emergency trip to the chiropractor the very next morning! If your child is old enough to have a pillow, get them a softer mattress! PLEASE!I bought a memory foam topper for my son's bed and it helped him sleep longer and better.
Product Details

These are perfectly safe for your older child. My son was 2 and 1/2 when we got this one and it's been a real game changer! Much better than having to go out and buy a new mattress and possibly having him get use to yet another bed!

So I hope these tips help!


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