Getting kids to sleep longer

If your child gets up too early try darkening her room.

The body’s most sensitive time to light is in the early morning hours and these beautiful summer sunrises can be anything but beautiful if your baby or toddler is up with the sun every day.

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Putting infants to bed while dozing

When infants are put to bed drowsy but not asleep, they are more likely to become “self- soothers” which enables them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night.

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Toddler waking issues

Many toddlers get disoriented and upset when they wake up at night in a dark room and can’t see anything they recognize.

There’s a simple solution: A night-light will reassure your child that he’s in familiar surroundings and help him settle himself back to sleep.

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Bed time is bed time

Stand your ground even if your child cries or pleads for an exception to the going-to-bed rule. If you’re frustrated, try not to engage in a power struggle. Speak calmly and quietly but insist that when time’s up, time’s up.

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Bad habits for bed time

If your child will to go to bed only if you’re around, he’s forming bad habits that will be hard to break later. The best lesson you can teach him is how to soothe himself to sleep.

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Toddler bed time

Make sure you aren’t putting your child to bed too early.

Most toddlers need about 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night. Is he tired or irritable when he wakes up? If he is, then he needs more sleep. If he wakes up happy and alert, then he is getting the right amount of sleep.

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Sleep rituals

Children need time to calm down and prepare for sleep. Having a consistent bedtime routine can be useful in giving the child cues that sleep time is coming. There are likely things that you do each night before bed, such as putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading bedtime story, nursing or rocking, and so on.

Try to do those things in the same order to help your child understand what is coming next and learn to calm down through that process.

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Transiton from toddler to big bed

Nobody wants to be kicked out of bed, especially a toddler who craves consistency and familiarity. When you decide it is time to transition your toddler into her very own big girl bed, start slowly.

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Determining when your tot is ready for a big bed

Most baby experts agree that a toddler will be ready to move from a cot to a "big girl" bed between the ages of 2 and 3 years old.

Physically, it’s recommended that your toddler has reached a height of three feet (90 cm) tall.

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Establishing naptime patterns in tots

As soon as a child has established a biological rhythm of waking and sleeping – usually by 3 months of age – parents and caregivers can start encouraging a naptime pattern.

Usually, timing play and mealtimes ensures that an infant will be ready to nap when you want them to.

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Nap time todder

Stay firm but calm. Although it’s frustrating having to deal with a toddler who won’t nap, the best thing you can do is not show her that she’s getting to you.

Try to avoid making naptime a battleground. Just tell her that she looks tired and needs to rest, and you do, too. Then, give her a hug and a kiss, tuck her in, and leave the room.

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Scheduling naps

To make the most of toddler naps, try to settle down at the same time and in the same place each day; try not to let him sleep in the car or stroller, which could disrupt his nap schedule.

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Naps evolving in second year

If you rely on your child’s naps to catch up on your sleep or attend to other responsibilities, there’s some bad news for you.

At some point during your toddler’s second year of life, he’ll go from taking two naps a day to one; and at some point during his third year of life, he’ll give up that nap, too.

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Where naps go

As a baby, your child probably napped two or three times a day, but now that she’s a toddler, she’s going to move gradually to one nap a day.

Sometime between 13 and 18 months she’ll probably stop sleeping in the mornings; when that happens, try moving up her afternoon nap so it’s just after lunch.

Waiting till later may push back her bedtime to late at night, since she won’t feel like sleeping just a few hours after waking from her afternoon nap.

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Sleeping when traveling tip

Toddlers are often used to their normal bedtime routine and may have difficulty sleeping in a new place.

Don’t be afraid to bring a port-a-crib if you have room for it inside a tent, cabin, or camping trailer. Infants and toddlers may sleep better if given their own space and parents will sleep better knowing that their child is in a safe place during the night.

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Falling asleep easily

Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed is a time-tested way to fall asleep.

The amino acid l-Tryptophan (found in milk and other foods, such as turkey and eggs) is thought to play a role in making you sleepy by raising the level of serotonin — a sleep-inducing chemical — in the brain.

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co-sleeping

Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone, but for a lot of families, it is the best way for everyone to get a good night’s rest.

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Thumb sucking at bedtime

Thumb sucking is a perfectly acceptable way for your child to comfort himself, at bedtime or any other time – although it can lead to dental problems in older children.

Thumb sucking is a way for a toddler to soothe himself, not only when he’s sleepy but also at other times of the day.

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Foods can cause sleep problems

It is possible that something the baby eats could be contributing to sleep problems.

Some babies that are on formula have sensitivities to certain types of formula. For babies that have started solids, food allergies or sensitivities can impact sleep.

Also, certain types of foods consumed too close to bedtime can prevent good sleep.

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Practice consistency in bed time

Children need time to calm down and prepare for sleep.

Having a consistent bedtime routine can be useful in giving the child cues that sleep time is coming. There are likely things that you do each night before bed, such as putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading bedtime story, nursing or rocking, and so on.

Try to do those things in the same order to help your child understand what is coming next and learn to calm down through that process.

From: phdinparenting.com Opens in new window

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