It's not often I have guest posts on White Lily Green so I'm really pleased to have the lovely peeps over at Mums Mall Talk about managing toddler tantrums at bedtime. It's something a lot of us parents experience at one time or another, and I've read this with interest myself - as a Mum of a very strong-willed toddler, who has gone through this challenging phase recently as well. You may have read my Bedtime Battles post here.
Thank you to Mums Mall for a great post.
How to Manage Toddler Tantrums at Bedtime
Sleep is vital for your child's overall well being, although he may not realise this fact as much as you do. It is your job as the parent to ensure your child develops a healthy routine for sleep that will endure well into adulthood. Follow these simple tips to keep bedtime tantrums to a minimum and promote peaceful nights for your entire family.
Develop a Sleep Schedule
Young children love routines because they make them feel safe in an unsteady world. Therefore, it will be much easier on your child if you help him develop a bedtime routine early in life. Try to put your child to bed at the same time each night, even on weekends. This will help ensure that he gets enough sleep to promote growth and health. It will also result in him waking at approximately the same time each day, which ultimately helps round out his sleeping pattern.
Announce Bedtime in Advance
If is best to let your child know that bedtime is approaching about 30 minutes prior to actual bedtime. This will help him prepare emotionally for being away from you for the night. Be sure to allow him enough time to gather a favorite toy, have one last drink of water and use the toilet well in advance of heading to the bed. Children who feel rushed to accomplish these things at the last minute may fight going to sleep even more than usual.
It is completely normal for your child to be afraid of the dark or to experience what is known as separation anxiety. These fears may not go away completely until your child is older, but they can be lessened by following a few easy tips. If your child has a favourite stuffed toy or blanket, allow him to take it to the bed with him. It may very well ease his fears as he settles down for the night. It also may provide a comfort to him should he awaken at some point during the night, allowing him to get back to sleep on his own without waking you for assistance. Additionally, keeping a small nightlight in your child's room can greatly reduce his fear of the dark.
Consistency is Key
Your child will benefit greatly from consistency. Start the bedtime process at around the same time each night, ensuring your child has plenty of time to accomplish all necessary tasks. If you bathe your child at night, try to do so at the same time each evening. Follow bath time with a favourite activity, such as a short story. Allow your child to get dressed into his pajamas, get a drink of water and use the toilet before getting into bed. By following the same pattern each night, your child knows what to expect next at any given time. This can greatly reduce any anxiety experienced regarding bedtime.
Solidify Trust During the Day
If your child knows he can trust you, bedtime will be a much easier process. Solidify this trust during the day by handling normal activities in a way that demonstrates mutual trust. For example, when you drop your child off at preschool, develop a method of saying goodbye but do not sneak off without saying anything. This may make your child afraid that you can disappear at any moment, increasing his fear of being away from you at night.
Avoid Nighttime Stimulants
Ensuring that your child does not eat or drink anything stimulating right before bed can also make this process easier. Avoid sugary foods like soft drinks and candies in the hours before bedtime. Obviously, it is important to avoid all types of caffeine which can keep your child wide awake for hours. Additionally, physical activity right before bedtime can also act as a stimulant for your child. Just as exercise before bedtime may keep an adult awake for hours, being too active at night can do the same thing for your little one. Be sure that all nighttime activities are calm ones to help ensure quality sleep with little to no struggling.
By following the above-mentioned advice, parents no longer have to stress when it gets close to bedtime. Realising that a little preparation goes a long way toward calm bedtime routines can help the entire family have relaxing evenings. These easy steps can help parents and children end each day on a positive note and will also allow parents to rest assured that their children are getting the sleep they need for proper growth and development.
This post was written as a guest post by Mums Mall – an online shopping comparison mall dedicated to helping mums get the best deals online when shopping for baby products, toys and children’s clothing.