Every mother knows there is no greater joy than the sight of her child in peaceful slumber; more importantly, uninterrupted, for eight hours. Mothers also understand that it is not easy to make a toddler sleep on demand; more so in today’s day and age, when children are continuously exposed to several screens and other distractions. It can be rather difficult for a three-year-old to disconnect and get undisturbed rest.
We present a few tips that will help to ensure a good night’s sleep for your little one:
1. Set a routine
Maintain a fixed time for going to bed each day. Between 8 pm and 9:30 pm is ideal. This helps the body to establish a pattern, and it helps the biological clock to slow down at a set time every day. A warm bath and a quick change into comfortable night clothes can help. Gradually turn off the lights. This will send out signals to your child that it is bedtime.
2. Eat dinner early
Ensure that dinner is over at least two hours before bedtime. It should be a nutritious meal that is light on the stomach. Soup and rice, or lentils and veggies can be served. Some children enjoy a warm glass of milk just before bed.
3. Disconnect, disconnect, disconnect
It is essential that there is no screen active at bedtime. In fact, it is advisable to limit any exposure to TV, tablets, or mobile phones for at least an hour before bedtime. This helps the brain relax and disconnect. It is also important for parents to disconnect first, by putting their phones away. This will set a good example.
4. Soothing music
Children love music, and there is enough evidence that music at bedtime helps improve sleep quality. It has also been observed that music has a calming effect on the brain, helping it relax and retire from any activity. Some low music in the background can be a great hack to ensure a good night’s sleep.
5. No distractions
Look out for any physical distractions in the sleeping area. Always sleep in the same place. Clean pillows, blankets, and bed sheets are a must. Keep the room dimly lit with a night lamp (avoid total darkness as it may be scary for some children). Ensure that the room is at a comfortable temperature, depending on the weather outside.
One reason that may keep children from falling asleep is mosquitoes. In such cases, plug in a good mosquito repellent such as the new Goodknight Gold Flash System an hour before sleeping to effectively drive mosquitoes away, and keep them out all night. It is also kid-safe.
6. Keep evenings active
Avoid naps close to bedtime. An activity like running, swimming, jumping, playing with a ball, etc., physically engages the child in the evening; it will ensure that the body will naturally tend to slow down early and ‘recharge’ during slumber.
Positive reinforcement can be a great stimulator to sleep. This may include remembering the small joys of the day. It may also include a story session. It does not matter if the child does not talk yet. Children are great listeners, and you may be surprised at what and how much they can grasp and absorb at a tender age. A small prayer thanking the Almighty can fill in so much positivity.
Bedtime is an excellent time to bond with your child. It creates beautiful memories that you will cherish for a lifetime. These tips can make it easy for both you and your child to sleep well at night, and wake up fresh next morning to begin a new day.
For more such tips to help you in your journey through motherhood, visit this section.