There are several reasons why a child does not go to bed at bedtime and you need some tips to help your child fall asleep. For example, he may be teething, sick, have digestive problems, needs attention or experience anxiety. You may not know it, but your toddler may be anxious to leave you at bedtime.
Remember that almost all children go through phases where they try to find out until what time they can make you stay up. Here’s how you can help your toddler develop good sleep habits.
Establish a bedtime routine
The best thing for you and your child to do is to have a bedtime routine. Putting a series of actions that come back night after night helps your child to calm down. Knowing what is coming gives him a feeling of security and promotes sleep. Here are some ideas to help your child make the transition between wakefulness and sleep in a positive way:
- Avoid over-excited activities (such as running around the house or rough games ) before bedtime. For your child to relax, you can put soft music on it and give him a bath.
- Respect the same routine of sleep every night, at a regular time, in the same order and in a quiet environment. For example, give your child a bath, tell him a story, have him listen to a song, give him a massage or a kiss. You must spend 15 to 20 minutes without hurry or your child will feel it and it may be difficult to calm down once you’re gone.
Use a book that talks about bedtime. Your child will be more motivated to collaborate if you invite him to do like the character of the story.
- To prevent your child getting up all the time, make sure he is not hungry and has gone to the bathroom before going to bed. You can also leave him a small glass of water on a table near his bed.
- Warn your toddler that this is the last song or story and turn off the light after a good night’s sleep. Talk to him gently, but firmly to reassure him.
- Set clear rules and stick to them. If you accept from time to time to read a 2 e story to your child or return to him every time he asks for a kiss, he will probably try his luck again. It is best to stay firm on the bedtime routine.
Of course, if there is a party and your child goes to bed later than usual, it does not matter. Just explain that this is a special occasion.
Give him attention
After a day in the middle of the day, children want to spend some time with their parents. Some people use all kinds of strategies to push back the bedtime and get attention. If you take advantage of the bedtime routine to give your child the attention he needs, he will be happy to have a good time with you. Thus, he will be less likely to get up to see you.
Offer him comfort
Some children stretch bedtime because they do not like when they separate from their parents. Others have certain fears, such as fear of the dark, monsters or ghosts. Here’s how you can reassure your little one:
- Offer to sleep with an object he likes (blanket, doggie, doll ).
- Use his imagination and say that you have a magic wand or spray that protects his room against all monsters and ghosts.
- Put a nightlight in his room or in the hallway to help him overcome his fear of darkness.
- Do not minimize his feelings. Listen to your child when he expresses his fears, but make him understand that you believe he can cope with it.
Should we take a nap?
Most toddlers sleep in the afternoons and they need them. So do not cut the naptoo fast, as lack of sleep can cause restlessness and your child may have more difficulty falling asleep. Before eliminating the nap, it is better to first try the tips mentioned above. If nothing works, you may want to gradually reduce your nap to see if your child goes to bed at night. Taking a nap earlier to prevent your child waking up too late in the afternoon is another option. If your child attends child care, talk to the educator. You can also try sleeping a little later in the evening to see if it helps your child fall asleep more easily.