It is quite common to have trouble getting toddlers and young kids go to bed at night. Your child may not be getting an adequate amount of sleep, which can lead to some health problems. Studies show that your child should be getting 12-14 hours of sleep every night, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, the average American child does not get more than 11.7 hours of sleep per night. You can use sleep aids for toddlers to help them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. Let's find out more about it.
Sleep Aids for Toddlers
Make Use of a Night-Light
When there is not enough light in the room, it is possible for your child to wake up in the middle of the night and become upset. It is natural for toddlers to become confused and upset when they wake up at night and see nothing in the dark. A simple solution is to place a night-light in your child's room. Do not go for so much light that it causes distraction – it should be enough to make your child see when they wake up at night.
Opt for Bedtime Snacks
It can become difficult for your toddler to go to sleep when they are still hungry. A bedtime snack will certainly help, but you need to ensure that you do not give them the wrong food that makes them hyperactive. A good idea is to opt for anything high in carbs and calcium with low amounts of protein. A banana and cottage cheese will do the job or you could also opt for whole-grain cereal and milk.
Design and Stick to a Bedtime Routine
It is important to establish a good bedtime routine and then do everything you can to make your child stick to it. By making them follow a routine, you can help them develop a habit of going to bed at the same time each night. This also signals their brain that it is time to go to sleep. A good routine could include giving your little one a bath, playing a quiet game, reading a bedtime story, and going to bed. Whatever you choose, just be sure to do it in the same order without fail.
Try Ways to Comfort Your Toddler
Thumb sucking would be a good option here because it helps comfort your toddlers. Just keep in mind that if you let them use this technique once they get older, this may result in dental problems.
Pay Attention to Sleep Environment
It is going to become difficult for your little one to go to sleep if the room temperature is not at an optimal level. Remember that the temperature in their bedroom should not be too hot or too cold. It is usually a good idea to make it a bit cool but not cold. Moreover, you should ensure the room is dark and quiet or else your child will become distracted and find it difficult to sleep.
Enhance the Sense of Security
Giving them a personal object, like a teddy bear, doll, or blanket is one of the most simple sleep aids for toddlers. This helps provide your child with a sense of security. This also comforts them and makes it easier for them to go to sleep.
Rocking or Breastfeeding
Nursing or rocking seems to be a great way to help your toddler go to sleep, but it is not always recommended because you will be teaching your child to depend on you to go to sleep. They may also wake up when you try to shift them to their crib.
A glass of warm milk before bedtime might make it easier for your child to go to sleep mainly because milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan that is supposed to improve sleep quality by raising levels of sleep inducing chemicals, melatonin and serotonin. However, a glass of milk is not going to have a significant amount of sleep-inducing substances, so that it may not always work. If you want to give your child milk, ensure that they get it in a glass and finish before going to bed.
Many toddlers find it quite comforting to use a pacifier, but many experts believe that pacifiers may not be the best sleep aids for toddlers. That is mainly because your toddler can become too dependent on a pacifier, and they may wake up or become upset if it falls out of their reach. They may not be able to go back to sleep again, which is only going to make things difficult for you.
White Noise Machine
A white noise machine or simply playing recordings of classical music, lullabies, etc., may help your toddler go to sleep with ease. White noise and music provide calming background sound to make it easier for your child to drift into dreamland. Just do not rely on these methods for long, especially if you want your toddler to learn how to go to sleep without assistance.
Sleep Drugs and Supplements
You may feel tempted to try sleep drugs and supplements to help your child sleep better, but you should never give any sleeping pills or drugs to your child without consulting your child's doctor.