Many serious studies have confirmed that lack of sleep can cause severe problems on the child’s brain. It leads to depression, behavior problems, lousy mood, obesity, hyperactivity, less ability to concentrate, and other possible disorders.
Bedtime ‘battle’ is very often the most significant challenges that every parent is facing sooner or later. For some reason, many children enjoy going to bed very late and refuse to accept that it is the bedtime. Even the thought about the issue of how to get kids to sleep can be entirely frustrating and stressful for every parent.
Table of Contents
- 6 Things Can Make Harder Getting Kids to Sleep
- 10 Best Ways How to Get Kids to Sleep Fast
- 1 – Importance of the bed routine
- 2 – Don’t change child’s bedtime routine
- 3 – Solve child’s troubles with sleep
- 4 – Make child’s room a secure and enjoyable place
- 5 – Let your child help you
- 6 – Let your child pick out her security object
- 7 – Pay attention to caffeine!
- 8 – Let your child gets tired during the day
- 9 – Avoid the trap of ‘one last thing’
- 10 – Be prepared for changes
6 Things Can Make Harder Getting Kids to Sleep
1 – If your toddler is not tired enough
There are a few possibilities why your toddler refuses to go to sleep at her bedtime. If she goes to nap too early in the day, she will be overtired when bedtime comes. On the other hand, if she has a nap too late in the day, she will refuse to sleep at an adequate time. Your kid will be too awake, and she won’t be tired enough at a reasonable time for a bed.
It’s up on you to precisely determine the right time of the day for the child’s rest and to organize your toddler’s daytime nap adequately. Also, you should pay attention to the length of her nap. When children overnap, they may have a problem to go to bed at their bedtime. How long your child needs to sleep during afternoon depends on her age, but it shouldn’t last too long. You need to gradually reduce naptime when a problem with going to bed in an appropriate time appears.
2 – If your toddler is too tired
If your kid doesn’t nap enough, there is a significant possibility that she will be overtired by evening because of the higher level of accumulated stress hormone Cortisol. This hormone inhibits the release of sleep hormone Melatonin and causes problems with your kid’s sleeping. This situation is pretty standard if toddlers nap less than an hour during a day. The things can be even worse, and your overtired kid can be hyperactive at bedtime and refuse to get asleep.
3 – If your toddler is over-stimulated before bed
Have you ever noticed that your kid has a problem to get asleep if she enjoys stimulating playing right before bed? Well, it is pretty reasonable to think that she will choose to play instead of getting sleep.
Over-stimulation is very common for young babies. Almost everything, including much noise or too bright lights, can be the reason why your little one is over-stimulated. That is the reason why calm routine is so important and can help your kid to get asleep. Singing a song or reading a book along with dimming the lights and closing the curtains will provide a quiet environment suitable for the peaceful sleep of your child.
4 – If your toddler is hungry
Directly speaking, you won’t be able to lull your child if she is hungry. If you have breastfed baby, you have already known that she sometimes seems asleep, but she suddenly wakes up and asks to be fed. Inadequate cluster feeding also can be a reason why your baby refuses to sleep straight away.
If your baby is bottle fed and drinks the whole bottle, she should sleep immediately. If it is not a case, you should try to offer her a little more milk. Actually, the rule is that your baby is well fed if she leaves some amount of it over once she finishes.
5 – If the bedroom is too noisy and (or) bright
Your toddler can resist bedtime if the bedroom is too noisy and (or) bright. The reason is clear and simple. If the external stimulation is too intense, your child’s body can’t release the sleep hormone Melatonin which allows her to fall asleep. Having a peaceful, calming, and dark bedroom will encourage your child to get asleep easily.
6 – If your toddler chooses to be extra capricious
Sometimes your kid doesn’t have any reason to refuse to get asleep, but she decides that she needs to find an excuse to be awake. If it is a case, everything (good or bad) can be a reason for her to get up and get your attention. Once you manage to organize your toddler’s nap well, it will be easier for you to teach her to go to bed at a specific time in the evening.
10 Best Ways How to Get Kids to Sleep Fast
Believe me or not, getting kids to sleep shouldn’t be such a problem. It’s enough to obey some basic guidelines and to realize that every kid is different. Anyway, setting up a routine and sticking with it is the right way to win this ‘battle’. Let’s talk about it.
1 – Importance of the bed routine
Having a daily routine will always be a signal for your child that it is the time to prepare for bed. It is important to make a strict bedtime routine, especially in the very beginning. For example, my kids know that they will have bath time after supper. Then, they need to brush their teeth, put on pajamas, and go to bed. Only then they can expect me to read them a story.
Always take care of the calm environment in child’s room without TV, computer, and any other possible inappropriate actions such as dancing, playing, wrestling, running, and so on. Be aware that consistent bedtime routine will improve sleep in your child even she has any sleep problem.
The fact is that children are ‘slaves’ of habits, and routine (having a bath, reading a story, or drinking water) will be an adequate association on time for sleeping. In the same time, your child will connect her room with positive feelings. The primary goal is to secure that you toddler feels secure and that she has some control.
And not to forget, there is one more important thing you have to stick to! Bed routine should never be longer than a half an hour and you should insist on ending it when the time to sleep comes.
2 – Don’t change child’s bedtime routine
Be aware that you will quickly and naturally establish a bedtime routine only if you put your child to bed at the same time every single night. There is no excuse especially in the very beginning while she hasn’t accepted rules adequately. You should respect her bedtime even during weekends and vacation.
Your consistency is always the way to make your child have a sweet sleep. Plus, you will have peaceful time to relax before you go to sleep. The more interruptions you allow, more problems will appear, and it will be harder for you to establish a routine for your little one.
3 – Solve child’s troubles with sleep
You should try to find a right solution for every sleep trouble your kid has. The most common issues include resisting going to bed, difficulties with falling asleep, snoring, waking up at night, heavy breathing during sleep, and so on. The right way is to notice the problem, to find a reason for it, and to solve it either by yourself or with someone’s assistance. Just ask your doctor, medical advisor, or a nurse for help.
4 – Make child’s room a secure and enjoyable place
The kid’s room should be a secure and comfortable place where your little one wants to spend time because she feels safe and relaxed. Her room should be cool but not too cold, and her pajamas need to be soft, warm, and comfortable.
5 – Let your child help you
Every child is delighted when she can be helpful. You can expect that even very young child express a good will to be responsible and do some tasks. No matter how much they seem easy and unimportant to you, your kid will feel proud to contribute.
For example, your kid can take her toothbrush by her own, to bring her pajamas, or to put her clothes in the adequate place. In that way, your little one will feel that she is a part of the bedtime routine, and it will help her asleep without any resistance. Also, it will be absolutely perfect if you make your child’s tasks fun. That way, you can consider that you have done an excellent job with your little one.
6 – Let your child pick out her security object
Since that bedtime always means that your child has to sleep separated, a security object can help her feel secure and comfortable. It can be a teddy bear, her favorite doll, or even a small baby blanket. Whatever this object is, it will prevent your child from feeling abandoned before sleep.
7 – Pay attention to caffeine!
Many people connect caffeine with coffee, but actually many other drinks and food contain it including nuts, chocolate, tea, and soda. I know that no one can resist chocolate but avoid it, especially before your kid needs to go to bed.
8 – Let your child gets tired during the day
Little children need enough daily activities to get tired and get rid of too much energy they have before night. That means that physical activity will always help your little one feel relaxed and sleep calmly.
If you find a way to teach her a responsibility while she spends time in enjoyment, it will be even better. Your child can play in the backyard and ‘take care’ about a younger kid, take the dogs for a walk, ride a bike, or ‘organize’ dance party for her dolls. Be sure that all these activities will prepare your child for the deep, relaxing sleep.
It is a great idea to encourage your toddler to think intensely about the past day and to describe you all exciting events, which will help her relax her brains. It is a sure way for her to get asleep quickly without resistance.
9 – Avoid the trap of ‘one last thing’
Trying to be with you, and to delay sleeping time as much as possible, your child will always ask for ‘one last thing’ regardless of whether it is a glass of water, an ‘urgent’ visit to the bathroom, one more hug, one more story, one more song, and so on, and so on.
It is the moment when the right value of the bedtime routine is displayed. When all these requests begin to be a part of the schedule before sleep, your kid will learn that once she is in bed, she needs to stay there without an excuse.
10 – Be prepared for changes
Bedtime routine is a good thing, and you should strictly stick to it. However, during the time, you will be forced to change things. Children grow up and have new obligations. Sometimes your kid will need to finish her homework, from time to time she will need to use the computer for a school project, her sports activity can encroach on bedtime, and so on.
Get used to the changes and be ready to make exceptions occasionally. Routine is an essential thing for your child, but at some point, you have to accept that she is not a baby anymore and that some of her new responsibilities need to replace the old ones. And that’s absolutely fine, right?
What else can I tell you? Make your child believe that sleep is enjoyable and good for her. Don’t make a mistake. You should let the kid understand that sleeping is not something wrong which she needs to fear of or to try to avoid.
Bedtime shouldn’t be a punishment but something which will help her feel comfortable and prepared for a new day that comes with all new excitements and experiences. Help your kid to realize that enough sleep can help her be happy and healthy. That will be enough.