Get your child to sleep: how to solve 6 bedtime problems

A Downtown Columbus day care lends advice

Throughout childhood, getting children to sleep is a struggle that many parents face. Although it’s natural for kids to be reluctant to settle down and call it a day, there are plenty of ways to control how long it takes to get your little one to bed, and help them become warm up to the idea that sleep isn’t so bad. You can start by explaining to them why sleep is so important.

Everyone needs sleep. Your Child needs it most. Why?

Sleep is just as important as the food, water and safety in your child’s life. Often, parents unintentionally don’t promote enough sleep for their child, simply because our busy lives overtake our schedules and sleep isn’t set as a high-priority item. Going to bed a few hours late or missing a nap here or there may seem minor, but when children miss sleep, it could lead to irreversible consequences.

Columbus daycareIn his book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, Marc Weissbluth, MD says, “Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles, because sleeping well increases your attention span and allows you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then you are at your personal best.”

How would a Columbus daycare resolve bedtime problems?

The foundational rule to getting your child to sleep is an effective manner is to institute a persistent, consistent bedtime routine. However, even when that’s in place, kids have these common behavioral tendencies. Here’s how to cope with these six common nighttime occurrences:

1. Frequent waking – This is common in children 12 to 18 months old. Try a fan to drown out the little noises that may wake them suddenly. Make their room look the same at bedtime than in the wee hours of the night. If you sit in the rocking chair or have a dim light on until they’re fast asleep, your youngster will be confused more likely to cry out for you rather than quickly falling back asleep.

daycare Columbus Ohio2. Wake up as soon as they realize you’ve left– As children grow older, they soon realize that the second they shut their eyes in bed that you’ll slip away and be gone. Knowing that, they’d much rather stay awake and make bedtime extremely difficult. End your bedtime routine with them still awake to accustom your child to fall asleep on their own.

3. Claiming there are monsters – Many toddlers are kept awake out of fear of monsters in their room. Put on a night light and spray some “monster poison” (water) in the closet and under the bed before bed to assure your son or daughter they’re safe. Some children are afraid of shadows on their walls at night. Lay down with your child for a night in their dark room and talk about what other fun, friendly shapes the shadows are making, to help them overcome their fear.

4. Asking for “one more” – Many children abuse bedtime routines by asking for just one more song, bedtime story, minute of cuddling or glass of water. Be firm and stick to a consistent bedtime ritual. Tell your child that the last time means the last time. The longer your child stays up past their bedtime, the more sleep-deprived they’ll be the next day.

5. Clingy/”I need you”- When your child calls from you from their room after you’ve put them to bed, come back to comfort them, say “goodnight” and that you’ll check on them soon to make sure everything’s okay. The trick is to strategically stage your appearances, returning at longer intervals each time. 

6. Night terrors- These scary dreams begin between the ages of three and six. Five percent of children have night terrors. They generally happen within the first two hours of sleep and children are waked by their own scream, flailing and breathing heavily. “They’re actually much worse to watch than to experience,” says Mindell, so try to remain calm.If you know night terrors are a part of your child’s life, the best advice is to do as little as possible.

How can Sprout Early Education Center help?

At Sprout Early Education Center, we promote effective routines and good habits for young ones throughout playtime and naptime.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in our Downtown Columbus daycare, fill out our admissions application and contact us today for a tour.

Photo Credit: peasap via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: RemcoBoerma via Compfight cc

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