Most parents are so excited about the baby that they don’t contemplate that infants and toddlers can be a nightmare when they are reluctant to sleep. Every parent with a toddler has just one question, how to make a toddler sleep? These tiny humans have super batteries; they only need a 15-minute nap to stay up all night, true story!
Whether you are a new parent or a dab hand at raising little angles, you must have asked this, how to make a toddler sleep, the question at least one time in your life. Toddler sleep training isn’t an easy question to answer because what works for one toddler may not work for another, as each baby is different.
If you are also struggling with the question “how to get a toddler to sleep alone,” this article will become the beacon of hope you have been searching for all along. The following secrets and guide to putting a toddler sleep come from many frustrated mothers who finally found the ultimate answer to how to make a toddler take a nap? We all love our kids, but let’s face it, it’s hard after a whole day of cleaning, cooking and running after the hyperactive kid, you need some me-time. And you can’t have that peaceful moment until your toddler is fast asleep, so let’s start with the tips and hacks.
How to Make a Toddler Sleep Fast?
All kids may be different, but all kids have the ability to go to bed peacefully and stay there till sunrise; you just need to calm down and think what makes them tick. Once you know the trick, sleep time will become the best time of the day. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Meet their Needs
Every kid has one of the three basic needs, and if they aren’t fulfilled, they will fight tooth and nail at bedtime. These needs are:
- Power: When your kid feels powerless and helpless, he or she will throw a tantrum just to show that they have the power to do so. Their desire for control makes them throw a fit while going to bed.
- Experience: Once you spoil your kid by letting them into your own bed, they will want that same experience again and again. To gain that they will make sure that they keep you up till you give in and let them sleep in your bed.
- Connection: Connection is when they aren’t done, and they need more of your time. This need for connection will keep them up till you get frustrated and tired enough to get mad at them.
When it comes to power, the tip is pretty basic. Let your kids do that one thing that will make them feel they are in control. Let them choose what they want to wear, the color of the pajamas or the blanket, let them decide if they wish to keep the lights open or not. You can also let them decide which story they want to hear. All these small actions make them feel in control, and once they achieve this feeling, they will stop fighting for control.
Now let’s come to the experience part, this takes a bit of time to master but leap at it, and you will ace it. Start with what the child needs and add fantasy experiences to it. if the toddler wants to sleep in your bedroom, you can start by saying, “you wish you could sleep in mum’s bed, and have ice-cream for dinner and go on a rollercoaster ride and have a pony… keep adding to this; once your child cracks a smile, you know that they understand that their demand is baseless and can’t be done. Now, pick up your laughing kid, and take him to the bed, read his favorite story, and help him sleep.
When a child wants to connect with you, they have this urgent urge to be heard, and this urge is what’s keeping them up. To end this need is your answer to how to get a toddler to sleep through the night? Use the technique from “SAY WHAT YOU SEE,” a brilliant parental guide written by Sandra R. Blackard. This book not only has an answer to how to put a toddler to sleep in 40 seconds? But also, many other tips and tricks that will help you raise your kids better. It’s the perfect handbook for kids.
The technique is to tell your kids what they are doing, what they need, or what their wish is. When you say it aloud and repeat it, your kids will know that you hear them loud and clear. The more you do this; the more your kid will feel connected to you. This will calm them down, enough to listen to you and go to bed without any tantrums.
5. Games Equal to Good Sleep Time Interaction
Like US parents, kids also have the need to interact, but they can’t come up to you and say I had a bad day, please talk to me. They just push you to stay with them and interact. So, when your kid comes up to you and asks you to play with him, it’s his way of letting his steam off. Turn the tiring sleep time routine into a game. Let your kid become the parent, and you become the child. You can play this game at any time of the day.
Now act like your kid does and make sure he acts like you do when you put them to bed. Cry, sneak out of bed and throw a tantrum just like they do. Your kid will follow your lead, find you, and put you to bed again. This game will help you understand what your child needs. Whether he is seeking connection, power, or experience, it will become apparent by how he takes the lead in this game. The way your kid acts out the parent role is enough to help you understand how your kid sees and perceives you at bedtime. Once the role reverses, you will see an apparent change in your kid, play this game every day until your child is ready to stop.
6. Visual Routine
Having a bedtime routine can make things a whole lot easier, especially with toddlers. Studies have shown that kids who sleep at the same time every day, fall asleep faster, wake up less in the middle of the night, and are less cranky in the morning as they sleep longer as well compared to the kids who don’t have a regular sleeping pattern.
How to get a toddler on a sleep schedule relies a lot on creating a visual routine. Our kids nowadays are smarter, and they like such routines. So, how do you make a visual routine? It’s very easy to create a colorful printable routine chart and stick it on your kid’s wall. Let him see and follow the routine. This idea of following steps that lead to bedtime will make bedtime an exciting adventure of the day.
- Step one: Select sleeping pajamas
- Step two: Bath or brush
- Step three: Comb your hair
- Step four: Pick out a storybook
So on and so forth; these steps will really help your kid create his own routine. Once a routine is established, sleeping on time will no longer be an issue.
7. Essential Oils
Essential oils are known to help adults sleep if they can make our bodies relax; just imagine how well they will work for our toddlers. Cedar-wood, as well as lavender, are two most beneficial oils that can help your toddler go out like a light. It won’t take much to make them sleep with a diffuser filled with essential oils. These oils also support the pineal gland, which releases melatonin; melatonin is the natural hormone that helps our body to relax and sleep better.
There are many benefits of lavender as well; it has both calming and relaxing effects that soothe the toddler helping him or her to sleep without any hassle. Both of these oils are safe to use with kids all ages; hence you shouldn’t worry about any adverse effects. However, you should always buy from a company or brand known for the purity of its product. Many companies use chemical fillers as an ingredient for their oils, beware of such brands.
8. Sleep time – The Ultimate Gift
Your attitude toward sleep time is also something that can make rebellious. Don’t treat sleep time as a punishment. Don’t keep telling your kid that going to bed thing or action they will get as a punishment. Timeout isn’t bedtime; make sure your kid understands that bedtime is a gift, not a punishment. If he didn’t clean up before bedtime, don’t imply that he went to bed because of that. Instead, take his toys away for a day as punishment. Instead, make sleep time a gift by changing your attitude. Use the following to emphasize how sleep time is a good time.
- Let’s start the special time with mommy and daddy.
- It’s snuggle time; let’s get comfy and read your favorite story.
You can also help your kid understand how sleep helps the body to recharge and rejuvenate, like the following:
- More sleep means better playtime.
- Sleep is the time your brain recharges, stores memories, and refreshes you for the next playtime.
- More sleep will help you grow stronger like daddy.
The only answer to “how to make a toddler nap” is to make his bedtime the best time of his day. You can only do that if you pay attention to your baby’s needs and help him understand that he needs bedtime to charge his batteries.