As a new parent, you have virtually no hope of getting a good night of sleep. Newborn babies just do not sleep through the night. As the months roll by though, your little one will likely start to sleep for longer and longer stretches, and you might start feeling well rested.
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Then, out of nowhere, your baby becomes a toddler. And toddlers do tend to assert themselves from time to time. Your toddler might not want to go to bed every night just because you say it’s time to sleep. So, just what is a parent to do? Developing a good bedtime routine is a good start.
The Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep
These days, there is plenty of research to support they belief that everyone should try to get a full night of sleep each night. People that are well rested tend to be happier, sharper, and more productive. This is especially true for toddlers. Anyone that has spent time around an overtired toddler can attest to this fact. Overtired toddlers are much more prone to meltdowns, tantrums, and crankiness.
For adults, going to bed at 9pm one night and 11pm the next tends not to be a really big deal. For toddlers though, having this type of variance in bedtime can cause all sorts of havoc. Try putting your little one down before they are ready, and you’re sure to face resistance. On the other hand, if you wait until they are overtired, you are really in for it!
Setting a consistent bedtime is the first step in designing a good bedtime routine. If you put your child down to rest at the same time each night, their body will start to feel tired around this time. This will make them much more likely to cooperate when you tell them it’s time for bed.
Bathtime: A Great Transition Between Day And Night
Some toddlers love taking baths and others simply don’t. Regardless of whether or not your little one enjoys bathing though, baths serve as a great segway between daytime and bedtime. There is something about the warm water that is just really relaxing and conducive to sleep.
The key here is to make sure to keep things low key after bath time. Make sure that your little one gets all of their pent up energy out before the bath. Then, stick with calm activities afterward.
Reading Sets The Stage For Sleep
A book or two can be a really great way to get your toddler ready to hit the sack. Sitting in a glider and rocking them while you read is almost sure to get them feeling drowsy. It can also be a good idea to put on their sleep sack before you start reading. That will get your toddler feeling cozy and also make it easier to transition to their bed or crib when you’re done reading.
Goodnight, Sleep Tight
Once story time comes to an end, you can put your toddler down in a crib or bed. Then, make a quick exit. If your little one calls for you or asks you to stay, just let them know that you will be back in 15 minutes to check on them. Then, when you do go back to check, keep it brief. If they continue to ask for you to stay, just let them know that it’s time for sleep but that you will be back later to check on them again. Before long, your little one should be drifting off to dreamland.
Author Bio: Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.