We all know the nightly challenge that comes with trying to get your toddlers to go to bed - and stay there. It’s not easy, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for them, because sleep is a vital part of their growth and development.
When little ones don't get enough sleep, they have a harder time controlling their emotions, and they may become irritable or hyper which is honestly no fun for anyone. Kids who are sleep deprived are more likely to have behavioural issues, have trouble paying attention and learning, and be overweight.
So, while we appreciate that it's not easy, it is so important to do all you can to help your child get the sleep they need. Getting your toddler to bed is no exact science, but there are ways you can try to make bedtime easier. It is important to build a specific routine that works for your whole family - and to stick with it.
Make sleep a family priority
Routine is key! Set regular bed times and wake-up times for the whole family, and be sure to follow them - even on weekends. You will know if your kids are getting enough shut-eye when they fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes of going to bed, and wake up easily in the morning.
Kids typically need more than three meals a day to keep them going, so a little snack before bedtime can help their bodies stay fuelled throughout the night. We recommend cereal, a piece of fruit, or a nice glass of milk. Try to avoid large snacks, though, as a full stomach can interfere with sleep.
Deal with sleep troubles
Signs of sleep difficulties can include trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, snoring, resisting going to bed, having trouble breathing during sleep, and loud or heavy breathing while sleeping. You might notice problems in their behaviour during the day, also; so if your little one seems overtired or cranky during the day, tell your doctor.
Teamwork makes the dream work
It is important to discuss and agree on a sleep strategy for your little bub with your spouse or partner beforehand, and work together as a team to carry it out on a consistent basis. Otherwise, you can't expect your child to learn or change their behaviour. Once again, routine is the key to success.
Temperature is key to getting a good sleep, as everyone sleeps better in a room that is cool but not cold. When it comes to pyjamas, dress your toddler as you dress yourself, but bear in mind that toddlers have a habit of kick off the duvet at night.