Why do toddlers need a bedtime routine?
Being a parent to a toddler is not all that easy. Parents have to ensure good bedtime habits for them. Here is why bedtime routines are important for children. Especially toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep every 24 hours. This usually includes 10-12 hours of night sleep and 2 hours of nap time during the day.
Regardless of age, timely schedules and bedtime routines not only helps them fall asleep easily, stay asleep through the night and wake up well rested and energetic but also helps parents to function well as they get their good night’s sleep.
Good bedtime routine prevents future sleep problems as well. Good sleep habits not only take away the stress out of bedtime but also makes it a special bonding time with the parent.
- Bedtime Routine Does Help Children to Transition from Day to Night
It is good to prepare toddlers for sleep. The routine ensures that the day is over and the night starts. Children who do follow bedtime routines do have an opportunity to shift from the busy activity of the day into a calming state of mind before sleep.
- Bedtime Routine Does Help Children to Develop Predictable Sleep Time
If the toddler wakes up very early one day and then very late on the other day, his or her internal body clock may rather be thrown off and that would make bedtime and even naptime very difficult. It is necessary to have a consistent bedtime routine that helps to set the child’s internal clock.
- Bedtime Routine Does Help Children Sleep Better
A bedtime routine helps the toddler to sleep well. Children with a consistent bedtime routine do have a better sleep outcome, including earlier bedtimes, a shorter amount of time in bed prior to falling asleep, reduced night waking, and increased sleep duration.
It has also been observed that kids who had bedtime routines slept for an average of more than an hour longer per night than children who never in fact had a bedtime routine. Bedtime routines not only make children sleepy but does also prepare them to sleep throughout the night.
- Bedtime Routine Does Help Children Feel Safe
Kids prefer rules and structure as it does make them feel safe. All children including babies are keen on knowing what is going to happen next. They in fact even show better behavior once they follow a known pattern. Routines do provide children a sense of security and also enable them to have a sense of control.
- Bedtime Routine Means a Better Relationship between Parent and Child
Bedtime is a time of separation and is difficult for the child. Simply sending the son or daughter to the bed alone is not really the best option. Few kids get scared. It is nice if the parent spends time and does something nice for the child who is about to sleep. Doing activities together prior to sleep helps like reading a book or singing a lullaby.
- Bedtime Routine Does Create a Positive Tradition Which Will Continue
Kids who do follow a bedtime routine do appreciate having some time spent with a parent prior to sleep.
How to cope up with the bedtime routine?
- Set a sensible bedtime, and allow the toddler to be part of the decision-making. If he or she feels he or she had an input the toddler is less likely to be controlled
- Bedtime routine includes things you need to do with your child on a regular basis, like, giving a bath, changing the diaper (if needed) or making them use the loo, brushing their teeth, putting on pajamas and reading a bedtime storybook.
- Make sure all is calm prior to starting the bedtime routine so that the toddler is able to wind down and get ready for sleep. It is important to stop the screen time one hour before bedtime.
- Remind the toddler of what is happening while going through each stage of the routine
- If the toddler gets out of bed, gently remind him or her that it is time to sleep, and return him or her to bed
- Praise the toddler for staying in bed and sleeping well
End the day well
No matter what has occurred throughout the day, it is necessary to make sure that day ends on a positive note despite the hard work in taking care of a toddler.
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Happy Sleep Time