Today's guest post comes from Megan Anderson we all know how children and naps don't always work out as we like. Megan has some advice on how to make it work
Getting your Toddler to stay in bed...or to nap at all!
We parents all know that the world of toddlers is extremely complex! Their little minds are full of learning new things all the time. They are truly amazing. They have to literally learn how to do everything, and they are good at it! Toddlers do not however, come with an instruction manual. They do a lot of things that we parents simply do not understand. For example, why do they keep getting out of bed 500 times!! How do we keep them in bed so that our little angels can get some beauty sleep? Aside from keeping them in bed, how do we even get them to nap at all?
How do you keep your toddler in their bed?
This is a tricky one that a lot of parents would really like to know the answer to. Our toddlers need sleep! They are so busy during their days, and are constantly on the go, so they need to recharge. We know what is best for them, but a toddler is too young to always know the same thing for themselves. So, how are we supposed to help them get a good night’s sleep when they keep getting out of bed?
One method that you can try is calmly walking them back to bed, each and every time they get out of bed. Fair warning, this is going to be exhausting! This is a way that your toddler will start to underhand that they are supposed to be in their bed.
Refrain from raising your voice at them. Just calmly walk them back into their room and tuck them back into bed. You will have to stick to your guns, and keep doing this. Consistency will be they with your toddler. If you create a routine where every time they get tout of bed, you walk them back to their room and get them back into their own bed, then they will catch on to the routine.
This will not be perfect right off the bat. Expect your toddler to feel upset when you put them back to bed and leave the room. Just remind yourself that "this too shall pass".
Another method you can try is coming up with a system or bargaining tool that works for you and your toddler. For example, you can tell your toddler that if they stay in bed all night, they can leave their bedroom door open. Otherwise, the door has to be closed so that they stay in bed. Or you could tell them that if they stay in bed, then they can have xyz. You will come up with what works for you and your beautiful little one.
And so after you have conquered getting your toddler to stay in bed all night, it’s off to the next battle. How to get them to nap? Some toddlers nap rally well and some need a little extra sleep training for this.
How do we sleep train to get your toddler to nap?
This is another aspect of toddler life that can be a mystery. Some toddlers nap very well and others find it more challenging to take a break from their busy day to take a snooze. To the parents whose toddler naps well, that's amazing! Keep up the good work. To the parents of the toddler that is not napping well, I am going to share some tips to hopefully help your little one along in this area.
Tips to get your toddler to nap
One method that you can try is doing a mini nighttime routine with your toddler. Whatever it is that you do to signal bed time for your child at night, repeat a mini version of it for nap time. For example, at night time, you might give your child a bath, get them some milk and a snack and then read a book. Your child knows that it is just about time for bed because they know this routine that you do with them every night. So for nap time during the day, you can do a smaller version of this to signal sleepy time for your child. You might get them milk and a snack, read a book and then take them up to their room. Make sure their room has a cozy sleepy atmosphere. Close the blinds put on their lullaby music and make it soothing in their room. Your toddler will soon realize that this is sleep time and they are supposed to sleep.
If you stay consistent with this, your child will eventually fall into this pattern and nap better for you. The key is to stay consistent and build a routine that your child can recognize.
Another method you can try, is not letting your toddler get overtired, a lot of kids get relaxed and sleepier after they eat their lunch. Look for their sleep cues. Do they start rubbing their eyes? Or getting a tad fussy? You will know what your child does that signals that they are getting tired.
When you start to notice they are getting tired, start your mini bed time ritual now. If you let them get overtired, they are past the point of being able to relax and fall asleep. Then they tend to cry and scream a little more in their room, because they can't wind down properly to fall asleep. Eternally they will though.
In conclusion, just stay consistent with whatever it is that you do as a routine. Our kids need routine and order in their life. That's how they know what comes next in their day. It's also how they know what to expect during their day. If there are no routines, they get confused what they are supposed to be doing. So, just keep working at a routine for your little one and it will all work out!
Mommy Lifestyle Blogger: www.meganslifewithlittles.com
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Hi, I'm Marcie Kenny, the women behind this blog. I am not a mother, but I am number seven in a family of nine. I worked in childcare for many years before retiring; now I enjoy blogging about all that I have learned along the way.