Between the ages of 2 and 4, kids need around 11 to 12 hours of sleep at night and at least an hour’s nap in the afternoon. It may seem that your child’s sleeping habits have started to resemble yours but the kids actually spend more time than you do in the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.
Since your baby is making more transitions from REM sleep to non REM sleep, your child wakes during the nights more often than you do. That is why it is important for your child to learn how to soothe herself back to sleep. If your child is a poor sleeper, following tips will help you to establish healthy sleep habits in your kids.
Always try to stick to a set bedtime:
It is important to put your child to bed at the same time every night. This will help her body clock to stay on track and make it easier for her to fall asleep quickly. Changing the bed time everyday will make it harder for her to settle down and get to sleep.
Follow a consistent bedtime routine:
Establish a daily routine that includes soothing activities like taking a bath, changing into a comfortable night suit and reading bedtime stories. Follow the same ritual every night so that your child can anticipate each activity. This entire routine should last between 30 to 40 minutes.
Make the preferred activity the last thing on the agenda so that she has some incentive to get through the rest of the routine. You also have to make sure that the routine heads in one direction, which is to sleep. Your little one may start to put off bedtime by making requests like one more story, one more song or a glass of water and so on.
But you don’t have to lose your patience. Just try to anticipate all her reasonable requests and make them a part of her daily routine. Just allow her one extra request everyday and make her understand that one is the limit and she cannot exceed it. If you are expecting a subsequent child, plan to move your toddler out of her crib at least 7 to 8 weeks before her sibling arrives.
This way she will be well ensconced in her bed before a new baby takes over her crib. Prepare yourself for few struggles as no kid runs happily to bed every night. You can solve this problem by anticipating and managing your child’s before the bed requests. If you notice that your child has some night time worries like being afraid of dark, separation from you or monsters in the room, do not worry.
This is a part of child’s normal development. But if she starts having nightmares, talk to her and about her dreams and try to calm her down. If this problem persists, look for the sources of anxiety in her life. If your little one is truly terrified of something at night, it is all right to let her into your bed once in a while.