Most toddlers and babies have sleep problems. They may refuse to sleep or wake up at night. It is a daunting task for parents to make their toddler go to bed. Many toddlers refuse to sleep even when you feel sleepy. If the toddler regularly has irregular sleep pattern, this may disturb your sleep schedule as well. You may feel less energetic during daytime and often depressed.
The amount of sleep considerably varies in children. Many children get too little sleep due to various reasons such as teething, sickness, sleeping too much during day, or fright of darkness.As a result they become irritable, lethargic, have temper tantrums, and perhaps increased susceptibility to infections.
To prevent the bedtime battle, there are several tricks that may help the toddler to sleep well at night.
How To Get Your Toddler To Sleep At Night?
Here are some things you can do to make your toddler go to sleep faster.
- Let the toddler learn to sleep alone: Break the habit of your child to sleep when you go to bed. If the habit continues, it will be hard to break it even as the he grows. Instead make him realize the bedtime routine. Comfort him that you are nearby even when he is asleep. A routine nighttime bath, reading books and bed time stories will make him realize that it is time for him to sleep. You can assure him that you will come to see him from time to time. It will give him the sense of safety and comfort.
- Do not allow your child to linger: Toddlers are very smart for their age. And when it comes to bedtime, they may outsmart you. As they want to sleep with you, they will do anything to prolong the time till you sleep beside him. For example to remain awake, he may ask you to fetch him water frequently. He may find an excuse that he wants something. Do not allow him to use this tactics. Tell him that the remaining work can be done in the morning. Make it a habit of using the toilet before sleeping.
- Let him make a choice: Often toddlers feel elated of their new independence and therefore they test the limits. Make him feel of his independence by allowing him a choose things at bedtime. For example, give him a choice of stories or the lullabies that he wants to hear. To select the nightwear that he wants to wear. Although you give him the power to choose, be sure to make few alternatives and not too many. You can ask him if he wants to sleep now or after 10 minutes. This gives him little choice, a span of 10 minutes and you too are happy.
What Are The Foods That Help Toddlers Sleep?
If your child has difficulty in falling asleep, there are certain foods that may help him to fall asleep promptly. For example giving a snack at bedtime may do the trick. These foods have sedative action that may allow the child to sleep throughout the night.
- Milk: Milk is the best natural sedative for the child. Milk contains an amino acid tryptophan. It helps the body to produce serotonin a brain chemical that is involved in inducing sleep. Milk and other dairy products such as cheese, yogurt etc also contains calcium. Calcium helps the secretion and absorption of tryptophan which helps to produce melatonin, another chemical involved in inducing sleep. The child should be therefore given one glass of milk one hour before bedtime for getting relaxing sleep.
- Oats: Oatmeal contains high amount of melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical in brain which helps to induce sleep. A small portion of oatmeal one hour before bedtime may help the toddler to sleep well throughout the night.
- Bananas: Banana is a time tested food for inducing sleep. It contains melatonin a sleep inducing agent. Bananas also contain magnesium and potassium minerals which help the brain to relax and induce goodnight sleep.