Can’t Get Your Kids to Sleep? 10 Common Bedtime Mistakes to Avoid.
If you ask the parents of any 4-year-old, they would say that parenting a toddler is equivalent to having a full-time job. During the age of 2 –4, children are the most energetic, bouncing off walls even without any reason. But sleep is one of the most, if not the most important part of a kid’s healthy growth and development. Thus, it is advisable to maintain a sense of regularity when it comes to their sleeping schedules. We list the 10 most common mistakes that parents make when it comes to their toddler’s sleeping schedule. This will help you avoid them the next time you put your baby to sleep.
Skipping the bedtime routine – As a parent, one of the first things you need to establish is a proper sleep routine for your kid. This familiar routine will signal their mind and body when to fall asleep at night. It might be hard at first, as toddlers can be a handful no matter what part of the day but don’t lose patience! With a fixed sleep routine, your child will close their eyes automatically the moment the clock strikes 9 pm.
Creating sleep crutches –One of the most common bedtime mistakes is the formation of sleep crutches. These refer to particular habits that your child associates with falling asleep. It can be lullaby or you narrating a story every night. When these habits become associated with their daily night routine, an absence of them will prevent your child from falling asleep. Instead, you can switch up and pace these activities so that your child’s mind cannot detect any regular pattern in them.
Dinner just before sleep – This is one of the bedtime mistakes to avoid if you want your child to grow up healthily. Not only is a healthy meal essential for the body, but the digestion process is also equally important. Doctors usually advise keeping two hours between having dinner and falling asleep to help your body properly digest the food. For this, you can exchange dinner with reading or studying time letting your kid study after having dinner.
Sugary drinks before bed – If you search up common bedtime mistakes, keeping your child away from sugary drinks will feature in all of them. No matter the age, consuming sugary drinks is not advisable before sleep. It can have a counterproductive effect on kids – consuming drinks like soda or fruit juices would make them more awake. Instead, it is better to keep the sugary drinks restricted to consumption in the morning or afternoon. Although the correlation between sugar and hyperactivity is highly debatable, fizzy drinks as a whole have caffeine as a component which can make falling asleep harder.
Not enough engagement during waking hours: At 3 or 4 years, your toddlers are a bustling bundle of energy. Given a proper outlet, babies generally exhaust themselves to sleep without outside help. This means you have to spend a portion of their waking hours engaging and playing with them. The more physical and mental activity will ensure a deep sleep as soon as their body hits the bed. The next time you are worried about why the toddler won’t go to sleep until late, take them for a walk in the local park.
Ignoring signs – If you’re wondering how to shift baby bedtime earlier, it’s very easy. Kids have a natural body clock that displays signs when they require sleep. These signs include frequent yawning, rubbing eyes, clenching fists, being dazed and irritable if you find your toddler displaying one of these signs, it’s time for them to take a nap as soon as possible. Don’t wait till they start crying to put then to sleep!
Not turning off distractions and lights – Wondering why your baby is resisting going to bed? It might be because of the running television in other rooms. Children are easily fascinated with any moving animation, and this includes any serial you might be into currently. Their minds associate running tv with playtime, and thus you have a child misbehaving at bedtime on your hands. Furthermore, the lights and the noise from TV might also create a restless atmosphere that hinders your baby’s peaceful, sleepy time.
Long naps during day – One of the common bedtime mistakes is letting your child take longer naps during the day. Managing a toddler can be challenging, and bust work, and a parent might be inclined to let them sleep a little longer so they can finish their own tasks. But longer naps affect a toddler’s sleep clock badly. This can make your baby have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep for longer times. It’s assumed that toddlers should be allowed to take naps no longer than 3 hours during the daytime.
Letting your toddler stay up too late – You must be wondering how letting your child awake longer is bad for their sleep schedules. Worry not, this is one of the most common bedtime mistakes of a parent. When a child is awake for too long, their body tries to counter that effect. If it’s during the night, it might result in general laziness during the day, leading to longer naps which ultimately mess up the sleep schedule the next day. So, it’s important to make sure your kid goes to bed within a certain time so they can be active during the day and sleepy during night.
Changing places to sleep – The place where your toddler sleeps can also prevent them from having a good night’s sleep. For example, you might put them to sleep in their own bed but end up having them in your bed by midnight. In such cases, it can send mixed signal to your toddler’s mind. Instead, make it a habit to encourage your toddler to stay in their own bed all night long.
The above list provides a general idea of what situations or behavior hamper a toddler’s sleep pattern. But since no kids are the same, each can have their own habit that helps or prevents a proper sleep. What do you think is the one habit that guarantees a good night’s sleep for your child?