Toddlers! They’re fun to have around, aren’t they?
They can be an angel one moment.. and then 5 minutes later, be crying the house down because you didn’t give the candy they wanted. Yes, it is the age where they start to test your limit and patience, and they can get really smart and clever about it!
A toddler sees things in black and white, and they’re starting to learn that they want some control over their little lives, but can get too overwhelmed if given too many choices, or when we become inconsistent. As parents, there is really no room for grey, especially when it comes to toddler behaviours. By you not giving into any grey, you actually make them feel more secure, knowing that you’re the leader, the boss, the parent.. and that they are the child. It helps them understand where the division line is between your will and theirs.. and that really helps with reassurance. So, even though they do ‘test’ you, they would like to see that things don’t change. Ironically, it actually makes that feel more secure that way.
Toddlers also like consistency, so we really need to handle any bad behaviour the same way every time. They cannot remember rules well, but can learn through repetition. So, this goes the same with regards to any rebel in sleep, you just have to keep to your consistency, and stick to the rules.
Here are some toddler sleep tips:
If your child won’t stay in his/her bed
- Do you have a child that gives you night visits or come snuggle up to you every night? Has this become a habit, and do you wish to break it?
- Establish a consequence and put that into practice everytime they leave their bed. An effective consequence will be to take away they’re lovey or to close the room door for increments of time everytime they get out of bed
If your child is scared of the dark
- Toddlers tend to have wild imaginations.. has she been telling you that there are monsters in her room?
- Getting a soft yellow night light may help. It can provide just enough light to allow your child to survey the room, but not too much that it will impact her sleep
If your child is stalling bedtime or naptime
- “I want to pee pee mummy”, “I want water mummy”, “I want one more story daddy” etc etc etc.. all these requests just before bedtime, toddlers can be such great negotiators!
- If you suspect that he’s stalling, then don’t let him do it. If the rule is 2 stories every night, then it is just only 2 stories a night. Put his bottle water near his bed and within reach, do the potty as part of the bedtime routine… try minimise the reasons for his stalling and keep to your rules
There is really so much more to write about for toddlers… and their funny antics. But whatever it is, bringing up a child can take a lot of time, effort and energy, but just remember that effective, consistent discipline is the cornerstone to every child’s wellbeing and will follow them throughout their development into adulthood.
Did you know that I can help with your toddler’s sleep too? It’s never too late, I can work with kids up to the age of 5 years. Contact me and we’ll set up a consultation and go through this step by step together. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +60123542010.