How To Choose A Toddler Bedtime
One of the hardest thing new parents have to do is choose a toddler bedtime. The child is big enough to have a set bedtime but it still may be used to getting up throughout the night and having his parents there to cater to his every need. But when the child reaches toddler age, he must learn to sleep through the night and to go to sleep at a certain specified time.
Because babies are used to being comforted through out he night, when this ceases he may become angry and aggressive. If a parent is not assertive when its time to go to bed this can send mixed messages to the child. He does not understand why he is being put to sleep and may continuously battle with parents when it is time to go to sleep. But if you start to follow a schedule before the toddler bedtime, the child becomes used to the schedule.
Right after dinner the child should be allowed to play for a few hours. After that you can start to do certain things to get the child ready for bed. You can give the child a small snack or drink and bath time should come right before a toddler bedtime. You can also plan to read to the child for a period of time before he is expected to go to sleep. After you have given the child everything he needs, a simple good night should be sufficient.
Never argue with a child who is fighting sleep. If he asks for a drink of water or a certain toy, give it to him. This way the child trusts the fact that if he has a problem you will help him with it. Sometimes a child may use certain excuses for staying up. He may claim to be sick or hungry. Gently check the child for a fever or give him a small snack. If he is doing these things to simply stay up, do not give into the child. After you say the words good night, any and all requests will have to wait until morning.
It may be helpful to install a small night light on the child’s room. Children can become afraid of the dark and may have nightmares because of it. You can also leave his door ajar just a bit, so that he does not feel separated from the family. Never leave a child in a bedroom in the dark with a closed door overnight. This can lead to many future problems when tying to get the child to sleep.
A toddler bedtime does not have to be at the same time every night. There are certain things that go on in life like birthdays parties and special occasions, where the child should be allowed to stay up with the rest of the family. In these rare cases, you can just follow the same procedure as before. Start with a snack and then give the child a bath and read him a short story. This way the child does not feel excluded from the family. But also knows when its time to go to bed.
A toddler bedtime is important for over all health. If a child does not get the proper sleep he can be grouchy and tired for the entire next day. Lack of sleep is a bad idea for anyone, especially for children. A child who is rested can learn much more and be a better student at school. You must never give in to a sleepy child and allow him to stay up. This can be a bad habit that lasts for years.