Bedtime can be the most exasperating time of all for many parents. Your youngster may resist going to bed or falling sleep out of reluctance to miss the fascinating activities that he thinks go on while he is sleeping. He may be too excited to go to sleep right away, particularly if he has just finished playing, or if he has been scolded.
Another possibility is that he may not be tired enough, having had too little exercise or too long nap, or you may have overlooked some important part of his routine. It is even possible that he is unwilling to sleep because of night time fears. Some of these problems are temporary and quickly resolve themselves.
As with almost all behavior problems, the first step is to make certain that you are in control of the situation. Do not wait for the sign of sleepiness before informing your youngster that it is time for bed. Establish an appropriate bedtime hour according to the child’s age and apparent need.
A toddler generally needs about 12 hours of sleep a night until the age of four. Make bedtime routine as predictable as possible. Preschoolers are comforted and relaxed by a familiar pattern at the close of their day. Begin the bedtime preparations by giving him a fair warning to finish up whatever he is doing.
Then take your youngster and help him perform other bedtime chores you have set. To minimize the opportunities of distraction, have him perform the actions in the same order every day. End the routine with a shared activity that your youngster enjoys. A bedtime story is a good choice. Let you’re good night kiss be the formal signal that the day is over and promptly leave the room.
If despite of everything your child has difficulty in settling down, consider whether his naptime should be reduced. Getting out of bed after light –out is something most children try.
If your toddler gets up and comes looking at you, take him calmly by the hand and put him back in bed without comment or scolding. If your little wakes up with bad dreams, be comforting, but insist that he remain in his bed so that he gets an idea that there is nothing to be afraid of.