2-4 Year-Old Sleeping Routines
As a parent, ensuring that your toddler gets ample sleep can be challenging. Getting adequate rest is crucial for their physical and psychological development. In this blog post, we’ll discuss ideal bedtime, sleep hygiene practices, and helpful tips to establish sleep routines for children between the ages of 2-4.
Set a Timely Bedtime
Do you know that sleep duration needs vary in children from ages 2-4? Generally, toddlers require about 11-14 hours of sleep daily, which can be divided into one long nap or two daily naps.
You should set a fixed bedtime that works for their sleep duration. For instance, if your child wakes up every day at 6am, you should aim to have them sleep at 7pm. It’s best practice to establish a consistent bedtime-thus, aiding in regulating their body clocks.
Avoid Electronic Distractions Before Bedtime
Toddlers’ executive functioning, which relates to learning and memory development, is still in its early stages, making it easy for them to get distracted or lose their focus.
Therefore, you should avoid offering them electronic gadgets like TV, tablets, or mobile phones, one hour before their bedtime. Studies show that blue light exposure, which these gadgets emit, impairs sleep duration and quality.
Create a Relaxing Environment
It is vital to create a calm and soothing sleep environment to promote sleep onset and reduce nighttime awakenings. You can consider using blackout curtains to block out outdoor lighting or have a night light if your child is afraid of the dark.
Additionally, you can play soft music or read them stories, creating a relaxing bedtime routine. These activities create an ambiance suitable for winding down and cueing their mind to sleep time.
Mind their Diet
Your child’s diet can affect their quality of sleep. Inappropriate food choices close to bedtime can negatively affect their sleep cycle. You should avoid serving your child caffeine or sugar-heavy foods before their bedtime routine.
Instead, you may consider providing them with foods that promote sleep like diluted milk, whole-grain bread or cereals, fruits, and vegetables rich in fiber. These foods will help your child sleep soundly all through the night.
Establish A Bedtime Routine
You may create a bedtime sequence that will help signal to your child that it’s sleeping time. A predictable bedtime routine can help ease the anxiety of sleep time and prepare your child’s body for sleep.
You can kick off the routine with a warm bath, followed by brushing their teeth and then reading them stories. As they become accustomed to the sequence, they’ll become more receptive and compliant.
Encourage Physical Activity During the Day
Physical activity offers extensive benefits to your child’s mental and physical development. Regular exercise promotes better sleep in infants, toddlers, and children.
Encourage your child to participate in activities that involve a lot of movement, e.g., swimming, exercise classes, or playing outdoors in the park. These activities help with mental exhaustion, and mood and allow them to sleep better.
Use A Sleep Aid
If your child seems to take longer than usual to sleep or experiences frequent night awakenings, you might consider using natural sleep aids. There are melatonin supplements available in gentle and child-friendly formulas that are easy to administer.
You may consider discussing it with your doctor first to fully understand its effects and appropriate dosage.
Establishing a bedtime routine for your child is beneficial to their overall health and well-being. You can create a sleep-conducive environment and consistent bedtime routine to help ease their transition.
Additionally, serving the right food, encouraging physical activity throughout the day, and avoiding electronic gadgets will improve the quality and duration of your child’s sleep. A healthy sleep routine helps promote their physical and psychological development, which is crucial for every toddler.
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