Parenting Vivian | 03 Jun 2011 09:39 am

Bedtime Drama – Toddler Bed & Kids Sleep Problems

Our active, energetic children often resist the rest time period, whether it is naptime or bedtime they may turn it into a chase time, crying time, tantrum time or may be read another time to avoid the dreaded bed.

Stand firm with your child, stick to a time you have set for your child to rest, you may need to help your child wind down before naptime or bedtime and perhaps a short story or may be a gentle massage to help relax the unwilling at sleep time.

As your child gets older his sleep pattern is likely to change, and you may find you will need to start again, it may require letting him stay up later or shorten his daytime naps as he grows.

Preventing The Problem:

Firstly, establish a bedtime routine. Before bedtime or naptime ensure a calm approach with a special feeling, only you and your child enjoys at these times of the day or night maybe a short story, a gentle back rub or very softly stroking his hair as part of going-to-bed routine.

Putting in the effort to make bedtime and naptimes a special event gives your child more than just going to bed to look forward to.

It may even involve a story you both tell by making it up as you go along, or maybe a talk on a subject your child is interested in.

Include exercise a daily habit

Plain for your child to get plenty of exercise during his day, as this helps his body letting his mind know going to bed has a good feeling.

Setting A Regular Rest Time:

Don’t let your child control his rest time with late afternoon or evening rests, it becomes a problem at bedtime to expect him to wind down for the night.

Putting your child down early in the day for his rest period will ensure less drama for bedtime.

Quality Time Before Bed:

Spending time with your child before bed will help prevent him from putting on a performance just to get more of your attention.

Keep Bedtime Consistent.

To find out how much sleep your child may need by taking note of how he acts when he has had his daytime nap and when he hasn’t, and when he has gone to bed at nine o’clock compared to seven o’clock.

Establish a regular sleep timetable that suits your child’s needs, this pattern is likely to change, as he gets older.

A Solution:

An hour before bedtime or even at naptime this idea can be used, set an alarm clock for five minutes and let your child know when the alarm goes off its telling him its time to start getting ready for bed.

This avoids unexpected surprises and helps your child except what is required in the next stage, when the alarm sounds, simply say, “The alarm is telling us its time to start getting ready for bed. Let’s have a bath, or wash up and put our pajamas on.”

Reset the alarm for fifteen minutes and say to your child, “let’s see how we go with beating the alarm at getting ready.” This gives you the opening to positively reward your child for his efforts at getting himself all the way through the basic bedtime routine.

Make sure you allow a fair amount of time for your child to get the job done.

When the routine is completed, reset the alarm for what’s left of the hour you set aside for bedtime and then say, “Because you were very good and beat the alarm, you now get to stay up and play until the alarm goes off again telling us it’s time to hop into bed.

Now it’s time to set the alarm for brushing our teeth, having a little drink, and using the potty (if old enough) or going to the toilet before getting into bed.

Using the alarm bedtime routine helps you and your child have fun preparing for bedtime, your child will enjoy the game involved in the bedtime routine.

Follow The Same Custom Regardless Of Time:

Even if it is past his normal bedtime, it is important to go through the same pattern as the usual bedtime to help your child learn what’s expected of him when its time for going to bed.

Don’t mention how late he’s been up, speed up the pace give your child a hand getting ready, using the alarm set it for shorter times. Although the pressure is on its important you don’t leave out any of the regular steps.

Keep The Same organized Routine:

Because young children find comfort in regularity, have your child take his bath, brush his teeth, and put his pajamas on, in the same order each night.

Ask your child to tell you what he thinks the next step is in the routine; this helps him feel he has some say and being more involved.

Offer Rewards For Good Bedtime Behavior:

Speak to your child upon waking making a comment about him going to so bed nicely is worthwhile. Say to him, “Seems you were so good going off to bed, I would like to read you an extra story.” Or another idea is, have a special calendar for your child and get him to place stickers on his good bedtime days, your child will find this very rewarding.

What Not To Do:

Don’t Let Your Child Be In Charge Of Bed time:

Stand firm with your selected bedtime regardless of your child’s performance.

Keeping in mind you know why he doesn’t want to go to bed-and why he should. Tell yourself, “He’s crying because he doesn’t want to go to bed and take a nap as he’s happy to play, but you know with him having his nap now he will be happier later.

Don’t Intimidate Or Smack Your Child:

Threatening your child to make him go to bed may cause bad dreams; fear’s and leaves your child unsettled, not to mention how you are going to feel when his performance continues.

Punishing your child won’t teach him suitable behavior.

As an alternative, use an alarm as an impartial influence to control when naptime or bedtime arrives.

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