Sleep is so very important for children's development. A two-year-old should get around ten to twelve hours every night. But how do you help your little one go to sleep? Below we have some hints and tips on helping your toddler to sleep so that you, too, can sleep with peace of mind.
The importance of routine
When we talk about routine, this means that you should always stick to the same bedtime and to prepare for bed in the same way each evening. The ideal time for toddlers to go to bed is between 7 and 7.30pm. Doing so will also enable you to get some much needed me time. Routine will help to reassure your child and make them aware that sleep time is fast approaching. Routine is comforting for children.
Bath time should be a relaxing and soothing experience for your little one. Use lots of bubbles and allow them to slowly unwind in the bath. You can sing songs and engage in play, but keep energy levels low to help with the relaxation process.
Pyjamas and warm drink
Once bath time is over, then allow your toddler to dry and change into a pair of pyjamas. Nightwear will signify that it is now time for bed. It's a great idea to allow your child to choose their own pyjamas to make bed time a special occasion. A warm drink before bed helps the child to unwind psychologically, and to prepare the body for sleep.
The bedtime story
Once your toddler has brushed their teeth, you can then get them into bed for a bedtime story. It doesn't matter what you read, but reading is proven to help calm children and prepare them for sleep, plus it is such a joyous time for you as a parent, being able to snuggle up and share a story with them.
Be firm and consistent Once you have said goodnight, close the door and walk away. If your child gets up, gently, but firmly, put them back to bed. Do this as many times as necessary. Over time they will settle themselves with the help of this bedtime routine, and knowing that your child is sleeping soundly will help you get a good night's sleep, too.