Getting a toddler to sleep is never an easy task. Most children this age resist going to bed, especially if there are older siblings who are still awake. Despite their protests, toddlers and preschoolers usually need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Here are some tips that can help you encourage your toddler to maintain good sleep habits and ease the transition to bedtime.
1. Give your child a quiet and calm period before bedtime. Figure out which activities are effective in calming your child. For many, it's reading, singing, or a warm bath. Sticking to a regular routine will help your child understand that it will soon be time to go to sleep. Limit television viewing, video games, and active play shortly before bed.
2. Set a consistent schedule. Decide on a time for your child to go to sleep and make bedtime the same every night. His sleep patterns will adjust accordingly.
3. Encourage your child to take a favorite teddy bear or special blanket to bed. These comforting items often help children fall asleep -- especially if they wake up in the middle of the night.
4. Make sure your child is comfortable. Make sure that she is comfortable with the temperature in her room and that she's wearing pajamas that fit well. She may also feel more at ease with a drink of water, a night-light, or the door left slightly open.
5. Avoid returning to your child's room every time he calls out. A child will quickly learn if you always give in to his requests at bedtime. However, it's important to reassure your child that you are there if he needs you. Try waiting several seconds before responding and taking longer each time he calls out.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.