Sunday, October 23, 2016

How I Get My Stubborn Two-Year-Old to Bed on Time Every Night

                Getting your toddler to bed has been a struggle for every mom out there at some point during their parenting years. Whether your first, second, or third child was a by-the-book baby and never brought a problem, chances are that at least one child has introduced the highly-talked about problem of bedtime.

Prepare for Bed Ahead of Time

                Providing a child with a warm and relaxing environment before their initial bedtime increases the chances of a successful night’s sleep. If a child is in a noisy and distracting environment, the chances are that they will not be able to simply calm their minds and body for restful sleep. A simple routine is a must to help your child notice when he/she needs to start settling down for bed.

Have a Routine

                Set up a routine that prepares your toddler for bedtime. Eventually their minds and bodies will atomically sync with the routine and provide a mental signal that allows them to wind down without much trouble.
A sample routine of a toddler’s night is below:
Time
Activity
Benefits
6:30pm
Bathtime
Promotes healthy bodily hygiene
7:00pm
Snacktime
Prevents night time hunger
7:15pm
Brushing Teeth
Promotes healthy dental hygiene
7:30pm
Story Time
Parent/child bonding, positive relationship with reading/literature, helps supply relaxation for mind/body

Keep Steady Naptime

                Set a designated time for naps and stick to it. Toddlers become cranky if they are too tired, and make the bedtime routine harder. Skipping or playing through naps may seem innocent, but can cause the toddler to become fussy. This increasing the risk of your toddler being unable to settle down and having tantrums when the time comes to lay down and start their bedtime routine.
Recommended Bedtimes/Naptimes for ages 1-5 are listed below:
Age
Naptime
Bedtime
4-12 Months
2-3 naps, 4-5 hours
6-7pm
1-2 Years
2 naps, 2-3 hours
6-8pm
3-5 Years
0-1 hrs, if needed
6-8pm
6-12 Years
none
7-8:30pm

Exercise and Eat Healthy

                Keep your toddler physical throughout the day. Simply put, if your toddler stays active and healthy the body will equip itself with a calm and sometimes sudden rest. A body at work will lay to rest at night a lot quicker and easier than a body that has sat idle. Food consumption can also affect the ability to sleep in individuals, especially growing toddlers.
Below are a few samples of foods that can help a child stay full and get a peaceful night’s sleep.
Food
Effects on the Body
Cherries
Melatonin
Oatmeal with Milk
Tryptophan
Bananas
Tryptophan
Almonds
Calcium
Leafy Greens
Calcium
Oranges
Calcium
Whole Grains
Complex Carbohydrates
Green Vegetables
Magnesium
Dairy
Tryptophan

*Magnesium naturally allows the muscles to relax and promotes restful sleep.
*Tryptophan, an amino acid, can make individuals drowsy after a meal.
*Calcium combines the use of tryptophan and melatonin to induce restful sleep.
*Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain at night and can be triggered by certain food choices.

*Complex Carbohydrates make tryptophan increasingly available in the brain by using protein rich foods.