Sleep Toddler-general

Children And The Elusive Matter of Sleep

A sight parents want to seeIs your infant or toddler not sleeping throughout the entire night and it’s interfering with your own sleep pattern? How do you avoid this? What do you do about it? A lot of frustrated parents just don’t know how to identify the problem or to find an answer to it. Instead, they walk around as sleep-deprived as their children.

Okay, so you have a new-born baby who has just come home from the hospital and does not know night from day. Your baby has been in the womb for nine months and it is a dark place in there. For your baby, it takes time to adjust to the patterns of day and night and you have to understand this. If both parents are in the home, it’s suggested that you alternate sleep patterns to fit your baby’s schedule so that everyone can get enough rest.


Baby it’s dark in here

If your baby is not sleeping through the night, you may want to adjust their sleeping position. Remember that your baby cannot turn around like you do when you get tired of your sleeping position. That is why it’s important for both parents to be involved in the care of the baby throughout the night.

Make the baby’s bed as comfortable as possible so that the baby’s sleep remains undisturbed. Your baby is most comfortable on their backs, but be sure that you get one of those crafted sleep positioners that provide a surface that is comfortable and safe for your baby.

Adults, infants and toddlers all have different patterns of sleep. Adults usually need about eight hours out of the day for their sleep while toddlers function better on up to fifteen hours of sleep in a day. However it is not as easy to tuck your baby or your toddler into bed at night as it is with older children.


Bedtime is not funtime… is it?

Your toddler may fight against going to bed and find all kinds of reasons to do anything but get in bed. This can wear on the nerves of their tired parents and also affect other relationships in the home. In this case, your toddler may have temper tantrums if told to go to bed. Why? Your toddler does not want to miss out on the action that he or she feels is going to take place. Additionally the toddler might not like the idea of spending time alone in a room without mom and dad tending to them.

You may find that your toddler will wake up at various times during the night because of this insecurity. What do you do in this case? Well, you have to talk to your toddler and reassure him or her that the room is safe and that mommy and daddy is not far away, but close by in the next room.

However, the best thing to do is to develop a specific sleep pattern for your toddler. Set a certain time for bedtime and stick to it. The toddler will soon get accustomed to the routine. Before tucking your child into bed, develop a routine where you read to your child so that the toddler will associate this process with bedtime.

Make sure that the room is not too warm or too cold for your toddler and that the lights are turned down low. You may want to consider using a night light if the toddler is fearful of the dark. Use clean and fresh sheets.

Do not encourage your toddler to play on his or her bed. It should be used exclusively for sleeping (and the same goes for you!). You don’t want your child to associate their bed with playtime, so when it comes to bedtime your toddler will know and understand that it is time to sleep.

Another suggested tip for getting your toddler to sleep through the night is giving your toddler a warm bath before bedtime. It relaxes the body and helps induce sleep. If it takes giving your child a massage before bedtime, by all means do so. This will relax the muscles and tone down any hyperactivity.

Okay, now your child wakes up in the night and wanders into your room and into your bed. What do you do? Most tired parents may let the child sleep there until morning, but you have to get your tired eyes open and guide your toddler back to his or her room. Let your toddler know that everyone has to sleep in their own beds or you may set a precedent for a habit that is hard to break. It might help initially if you lie down with the child until he or she falls asleep

Before bedtime, you could play a game with your toddler by having him or her choose an activity to engage in before bedtime. Your child will love this and may go right to bed after it’s over because they’re tired enough or satisfied they’ve had their fun. Let your toddler choose the story that you will read, a song you will sing or a role-playing costume that he or she will put on if the mood is extravagant. If your toddler has an older sister or brother, allow them to participate in this, and then it’s sweet dreams!


 – Gina


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