If you have a toddler at home, you very well know the effort that’s required to make him/her sleep. You’ll be tired and so will all the other family members be but your little one can still stay awake till the middle of the night. You understand that he/she needs to be in time by 9 but your toddler has other plans. Children want to play with daddy who’s just home from work. They want you to read stories to them and run after them, all at night. It definitely is a difficult task to put a toddler to sleep but it is not impossible.
Here are a few home remedies that can help you to establish a sleep routine in toddlers:
1. Channelize the energy during the day – It is very important to channelize the energy o your child during the day so that he/she is exhausted and wants to sleep at night. Make him play and run. Take your little one to a garden and play with a ball. Make the child run errands for you. Ask him to help you to water the plants and feed the dog.
2. Day time nap not to exceed 90 minutes – Most babies nap at least once during the day. After all, they are small children and they get tired very soon. Their stamina has just started building. Whenever your child takes a nap, ensure that he/she doesn’t sleep for more than one and a half hours. If the child sleeps more than 90 minutes, he/she is most likely to trouble you at night. The baby will not really fresh after sleeping for so long and will not like to sleep with you at night.
3. Make the child have some warm milk – Warm milk in a bottle is almost intoxicating for a baby. Babies usually have a light dinner. Once they’ve had their dinner, they still need to have a milk bottle to go to sleep. Milk is helpful in filling the tummy. It ensures that the baby is well-fed and will not wake up hungry after 4-5 hours.
4. Ginger tea to avoid colic – If your baby tends to get colicky at night, there is no harm in giving a few sips of warm ginger tea to him. Ginger is known for its antispasmodic properties. Just boil 2 cups of water and add a teaspoon of shredded ginger to it. Let it steep for a few minutes and then turn off the flame. Allow it to cool down and take a few teaspoons in a small bowl. Add some honey to sweeten it. Give this ginger tea to your toddler sip by sip half an hour before going to sleep.
5. Dress up in comfortable clothing – Just imagine if someone made you wear tight slacks with a fitted top, you’d feel as if you’re in chains. Dressing up in comfortable clothes is just as important for sleeping. The child must feel at ease while going to sleep. Dress up your child in soft cotton pajamas and a loose t-shirt and then put him to bed.
6. Dim the lights – Can you sleep with the light turned on? Most people can’t. All distractions such as toys, books and television need to be put away or turned off. Just as you notice that your baby is starting to close his eyes, dim the lights and turn off the television. Even if the child is sleepy, he/she often tries to resist sleep and watch television or just look around the room.
7. Lightly massage on the pressure points – Who doesn’t like a soothing massage? Well, your baby loves it just as much. A gentle massage is one of the best ways to relax and calm your baby. You can use lavender essential oil or chamomile oils to massage your baby, but make sure to dilute them for the delicate skin of your munchkin. Massage his/her legs and the back. It helps to improve the blood circulation in the body and also relieves colic. It is the best way to promote sleep.
8. Put the baby to sleep at the same time each day – If you want your child to follow a routine, you must adhere to the routine as well. Make sure you put the child to bed each night at the same time. After a few days, your child’s body will become habitual to this routine and he/she will feel sleepy at the time you want.
Apart from the above home remedies, you can also inculcate the following practices in your baby’s routine. Once these activities are carried out at the same time each day, your toddler will remember them. Slowly he/she will recognize that it’s sleep time.
• Make the child brush his/her teeth – Brushing the teeth at night is very important. It not only helps to clean the teeth and remove leftovers but also gives a fresher breath. This habit will help your child have healthy teeth.
• Change soiled diapers – No child can go to sleep in soiled or wet diapers. Change the dirty diapers and make the child wear clean ones. Babies can sleep more soundly when they are clean and dry. If your toddler is toilet trained, make him/her use the washroom.
• Read a book – Sit in bed and read a soft story to your little one while caressing his/her hair. Make the child close his eyes and pat him on the forehead.
• Bedtime manners – Wish your child ‘Good Night’ and make him do the same to you and other members of the family.
• Adjust the temperature of the room – Adjust the temperature of the room to a comfortable one.
• Pull up the sheets – Cover your child with a sheet and make him/her snug. Many times babies like to sleep on the chest of the mother.
• Sing lullabies to your little one – Sing lullabies to your child. Nothing soothes a baby more than a lullaby and his mother’s touch. They help to induce sleep.
A proper sleep cycle ensures a better health and a happy toddler!