If you’re a parent to a toddler, you might be wondering how to keep them asleep at night. We can understand why. Broken sleep leaves adults exhausted, and you’re more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression if you aren’t getting the recommended seven hours or more of sleep a night.
And tired toddlers are no fun, either. They’re ratty and upset, and more likely to act up.
You might be wondering how you can help your toddler go to sleep.
One common suggestion is to wear them out during the day, but perhaps you are wondering if this really works. Well, the answer is yes. Have you ever taken your child to a special event – a wedding or a day trip – and observed them afterwards? They’re always exhausted.
But tiring your children out doesn’t mean having them run laps around the garden. There are other ways to tire out your child that don’t involve physically exerting them (though this helps).
How can I tire out my child for bed?
Physical activity is the most obvious way to tire out your child. Exercise helps children relieve stress and frustration, which toddlers can certainly have.
That being said, you should avoid physical activity in the hour before bed, as the resulting endorphins can make your child feel more awake than they did before. The hour before bed should be reserved for bedtime routine activities, like having a bath and reading a bedtime story.
There are a number of physical activities you can enrol your toddler in that will help them to sleep later that day. Swimming is an excellent activity, because it is really fun. Kids are less likely to realise that they’re exercising when they’re swimming because they are having such a good time. We’re going to presume your toddler can’t swim alone, and that’s where mental stimulation comes into play here, too. Teaching your child to swim involves a lot of concentration from your child, and learning tires them out.
Other physical activities you can enrol your toddler in include dance classes, gymnastics, football, and horse riding.
Mentally wearing out your children
Tiring out your children doesn’t just mean getting them to expend their energy through physical play. Games that get your little one’s mind working are just as tiring, which is why we can almost guarantee your children are more exhausted on a school or nursery day than they are any other.
Encouraging your child to play games that require their concentration a few hours before bed can help use up any energy they have.
For this, we recommend puzzles, or educational games, like the card game ‘pairs’. Any game that requires your child to think very carefully about what they are doing is going to tire them out.
The importance of routine
Children are complex creatures, and though it might not feel like it sometimes, they are just miniature humans. Humans really like routine.
There’s a reason you’re exhausted at the same time every night, and why you wake up frequently just before your alarm. That’s because your body and brain really like routine.
Children are the same, and if you plan on incorporating activities to tire your children out into their lives, it’s important you try to do this with some level of routine.
So if you have a window between four and five o’clock every day, make sure this is the time when you’re attending swimming classes, or engaging your child in active play. When you’re done with that, you’ll want to start your child’s ‘sleep routine’, so perhaps they have a snack, take a bath, read a bedtime story, then go to bed.
Incorporating this type of routine into your child’s life will help their body start to associate specific activities with bedtime.
Other ways to help your child sleep
A good way to get your child excited about sleep is to make their bedroom somewhere they enjoy being. A key way of doing this is by getting them a bed that is at the very least comfortable, and at most a place they love to bed.
Car Bed Shop can help you. We sell novelty beds shaped like cars, They come with LED lights and sound effects, and can overhaul your child’s bedroom. This is a great way to tire your child out by engaging them in active play.
If you want to go the whole hog, you can even buy matching furniture, and turn your child’s bed into a garage.
This will help your child to associate their bedtime as a place where they feel comfortable and have fun. This is important, because lots of children associate their room with somewhere they’re sent to alone to do something boring; go to bed.
If you want to talk about a car bed, call 01924 46 33 33, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.