how to get your toddler to sleep better
Health & Wellness

How to Get Your Toddler to Sleep Better

Everyone needs a restful night and adequate sleep. If your toddler is staying up and keeping you from sleep, both of you will be affected and need to look at ways to encourage the child to go to bed and stay there for the night. This is a fairly common problem. Here are some tips to help you resolve it.

Getting Your Child to Go to Bed

Sometimes, a toddler resists going to bed. This is best resolved by providing a consistent routine. Determine what time your child needs to go to sleep to get eight hours of shuteye before waking up for the next day. Put a wind-down routine in place to start preparing the child for bed half an hour earlier. If the child persists in staying up very late, you can use fifteen-minute increments to gradually arrive at the desired bedtime, bringing the wind-down time to earlier and earlier until the time you have decided on.

After 30 minutes of winding down, take your child to the bedroom and get them settled in bed. Read the child a short story and say your goodnights. A night light will allow the child to feel at ease. If the child uses a dummy or has a favourite snuggling toy, make sure they have this and leave the room. Don’t be tricked into reading a second bedtime story. You want a fixed routine that the child can get used to so that they are cued to sleep at this time.

The child may get up again in the beginning. Be firm but kind as you take them back to bed and tuck them in again. Do this immediately so that your toddler knows that you are serious about bedtime.

Toddlers Who Battle to Fall Asleep in Bed

Your toddler may go to bed easily enough but battle to fall asleep and keep calling you. The following strategy will help for this or if your toddler wakes up during the night.

Use a kiss to say goodnight and tell the child you will be back in a minute to kiss them goodnight again. Make sure that you go back in a minute and give them a second goodnight kiss. Tell them that you will be coming back for another kiss. Wait slightly longer, but not more than two minutes, before returning for the next kiss. If the toddler gets up, tell them that they will get more kisses once they are in bed.

Note that you should make sure your toddler never goes to bed on an empty stomach that keeps them awake. You can give them a bit of cereal with milk if the child complains of hunger after being out to bed.

Toddlers in Foster Care

If you are caring for a foster child, bear in mind that they may have bad memories or other issues keeping them waking up at night. Although you can use these routines on them, be sensitive to their additional needs and handle the situation appropriately. If you are using an agency for fostering in London, they should let you know the details of the child’s background which will help inform you of how to deal with their bedtime routine.

It can be frustrating but know that most toddlers eventually settle into a healthy bedtime routine.

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