We all know sleep is important. Are we getting too little or not enough? The way your child sleeps also affects you as parents, and while their sleep is imperative for a healthy start in life yours is equally important. Here are some useful tips and sleep aids for toddlers to help you and your child get the optimum amount of rest.
Getting a good night’s sleep isn't just about falling asleep; it’s also about staying asleep. If your child has slept well, they will usually wake up by themselves without the need for any intervention from you. This helps your toddler get off to a good start to the day with no bad moods or tantrums for you to deal with in the morning.
Toddler sleep tips
In most cases your child should fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed. Naturally it depends on how tired they are and a good daytime and bedtime routine can help with this. Throughout the night, a child experiences a similar sleep cycle to that of adults, moving between light sleep, deep sleep and dream sleep. Children experience most of their deep sleep within the first couple of hours of drifting off. The second half of the night, their rest moves between light and dream sleep. There are a few tips to help this perfect scenario happen.
- Wind down before bedtime and ensure a scheduled bedtime routine
You should try to ensure your child goes to bed at the same time every night; prior to this it's wise to help your child wind down. This could be by taking a warm bath or having a story and a warm milky drink. Electronics, such as games or tablets shouldn’t be used for at least an hour before wind down time starts. Watching television also stimulates your child’s brain and this should also be avoided if possible, prior to the bedtime routine starting.
- Ensure their bedroom is safe and comfortable.
There is a whole range of award winning BlocOut™ nursery blackout blinds to darken rooms during the day or night. They work for children and adults alike. The blinds can be designed with your own nursery pattern or you can choose from the standard range. Choosing neutral, pastel colours with calming designs will pacify your toddler. Avoid scary bedtime stories and if your child is frightened of the dark, provide a nightlight.
It's better to avoid noise by not to having a child’s room that faces the street. The room needs to be quiet and also comfortably warm[between 18-20 degrees celsius] . Where possible have the room in the quietest area of the house, away from any rooms constantly in use after they've gone to bed.
- Night-time Snacks
Your child will sleep better if they aren’t hungry or too full when they go to bed. If they do have supper make sure it's something light, not containing too much sugar or any caffeine. Fruit or honey and toast are good options for a snack before bedtime.
Remember, it's important to praise your child if they've slept through and woken up by themselves. Reward charts are a great way to do this.
Sleep aids for toddlers
The best made plans often go awry, so if needed there are a few sleep aids for toddlers on the market that could help you.
Many toddlers will put themselves back to sleep with a dummy, and, whilst not for everyone they can be a short term soother in the early toddler months.
- Soft music
There are plenty of CD's and apps out there for this type of problem. The best music tends to be lullabies or nursery rhymes. Music supplies a tranquil setting and will help your child to drift off into dreamland. There are also various soft toys on the market that have built in music.
- Baby comforter
This may be their favourite blanket or soft cuddly toy.
- Glow in the dark soft toys
There are some incredible multi-purpose toys available acting as comforters and nightlights with built in music.
This can be a spray or plant (remember to keep it out of the child’s reach). You can also buy pillows and soft toys that smell of lavender. This fantastic herb has relaxing properties to help you or your child drift off into a peaceful slumber.
Keep an eye on our blog for more toddler sleep tips and sleep aids for toddlers. And don’t forget to check out our fabulous BlocOut™ nursery blackout blinds.