Sleep deprived parents often experience the nightmare of early rising toddlers ready to start their day.
Here are some essential bedtime tips to manage toddlers sleep schedules and keep them waking up at a time that allows everyone to get the sleep they need.
Make the Days Busy!
An active toddler is happy toddler whether it be physical or mental activity. The busier your toddler is during the day, the more they will need their full hours of sleep.
Days can be spent heading outside to gardens, parks and playgrounds to give them a chance to run around and burn up some energy.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of screen time for your toddler when they want to relax and when you need a little break but it’s important to refrain from overloading on cartoons.
Instead, time inside could be spent on creative pursuits like drawing or playing with Play-Doh.
“After making an effort to swap games on the tablet with physical activities like puzzles and Lego, you’ll find your toddler less hyper in the evening and ready to catch up on their sleep,” says Jessica Myles, a blogger at Eliteassignmenthelp and Essayroo.
The simplest reason your toddler might be waking up too early is that they need a bedtime adjustment.
The average toddler needs around eleven to twelve hours of sleep overnight and parents need to work with toddlers to find their ideal bedtime and wake up time.
Getting your toddler to bed slightly later can result in later wake up times. Of course, toddlers need routine and stability so it’s important to get your toddler properly adjusted to their new bedtime.
Parents can move towards a new bedtime by pushing bedtime back by fifteen minutes increments every few days until you gradually reach the ideal bedtime for you and your toddler.
It’s possible that a toddler’s early rising is due to hunger; after all, they most likely ate around twelve hours ago.
To eliminate the possibility of a peckish child getting you out of bed in the early hours, parents can start offering a bedtime snack during the winding down, evening times.
The snack shouldn’t be anything too substantial but a light and high-protein option like yogurt to stave off hunger throughout the night.
Toddlers in the Dark
Our circadian rhythm is designed around sunlight hours and for adults, some of the most refreshing sleeps culminate in rising with the sun.
Toddlers can be extremely sensitive to environmental cues like light which can be the reason for their premature rising.
Parents can take steps to keep their toddler’s room dark by buying black-out curtains or using cardboard to cover windows. This way, you can decide when wake up time is and let light into the room at the appropriate time.
Switch Up Nap Times
Naps are obviously essential for small children and as parents, you’ll be able to determine how many naps and at what length is best for your child.
When a toddler starts to wake up prematurely, naps are a good place to look to in order to make changes that help your toddler sleep later in the mornings.
It may be time to limit the number of naps in a day or shorten the nap length. Gradually moving to decreased nap time during the day should lead to your toddler needing their sleep in the morning.
“A child’s needs are constantly changing, and this includes their sleep. Altering the daily nap routine can have toddlers sleeping through the night in no time,” says Juliette Marsh, a lifestyle blogger at Boomessays and State Of Writing.
No Playing Before Wake Up
The best way to signal to your child that a 5 am is not wake up time is to treat it like any other wake up time throughout the night.
Any wake up before 7 am for example, should be approached exactly the same by tending to them and putting them back to bed without fuss, being fed and especially without games. If you get into the habit of putting on cartoons for your toddler at 5 am, they will expect to be treated the same whenever they wake up.
Sleep is essential for children and setting up good sleep patterns and habits brings great benefits both now and in the future.
Having enough sleep helps with the mental and physical development of a child and parents will be able to see direct effects in their child’s learning, behavior, focus, memory and attention.
Conversely, too little sleep will lead to grumpy and tired toddlers which isn’t fun for anyone!
Katherine Rundell is a marketing writer at Best UK Essay Writing Services and Custom Writing Services, who writes about parenting. She is also an educator at Top assignment writing services in New South Wales.