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Sleeping tips for toddlers

Thursday
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“Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up”… sound familiar? ;)

Sleeping is not just elusive for adults but for kids too. Some have a hard time sleeping and parents are usually up with them. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for good health, mind, and body. It also helps proper brain development for babies and toddlers. My husband, a Child Psychologist, recommends apt sleep hours for kids. Our eldest kids, who are 4 and 2-years-old are already good sleepers. We are in the process of sleep training with our 8-month old baby and my husband helps me with this process. I know not all parents agree with this method but sleep training works for our family ever since our first son. I wanted to share a few things that helped our kids sleep better.

White Noise/Sound Machine

We started using a Sound Machine during our first-born. Babies are used to hearing a lot of noise in the womb and it maybe hard for them to sleep in a too-quiet nursery. This device cancels out unwanted noise from your home or neighborhood but provides calming sounds to help babies sleep better. Our eldest, however, stopped using a Sound Machine when he reached 2-years-old. My husband and I have grown quite fond of it. We don’t mind playing the calming sounds in the background.

Sleep with their favorite item

Remember the term ‘security blankets’? Kids love them and need them. Kids always cling to their favorite toy and most of the time, bringing it to bed helps them sleep better. It gives them a sense of security and calm making them sleep peacefully. As for my kids, they always sleep next to their favorite plush toys. My eldest likes his plush owl, our 2-year-old his frog plush, and our youngest his fox plush. The item varies depending on what your kid’s favorite new toy is. Bringing those to bed is a huge plus in helping them sleep soundly.

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Create a routine

Routines are good for kids because their bodies recognize the pattern reminding them that in a few hours it’s sleeping time. As for us, it’s dinner (eating healthy meal with veggies), playtime, cleaning up the toys, bath time, book reading, singing worship songs, and saying a prayer. I’ve discussed this thoroughly in a previous blog post here. Also, refrain from using gadgets of any sort at least an hour before bedtime.

Reading books

Reading books before bedtime is a good cooling down period. It signals the body that it’s time to sleep and helps calm the mind. I’ve mentioned a few of my baby’s favorite books in a separate entry here. For my two boys, their current favorite books are “You are special” (I highly recommend this book! The author Max Lucado is a Christian writer.), “Horton hatches the egg” , and “the biggest bear”.

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Daytime Routine

Sleeping in the afternoon (no later than 4PM) helps our kids sleep soundly at night. We noticed that putting them to bed tired makes them cranky and agitated. My youngest sleeps twice (morning and afternoon). I love to read books to our two eldest sons before naptime too. My husband reads them a story at night to bond more since he’s always at work during the day. Since we speak two languages at home, I expose them to Tagalog books like “Ako si kaliwa, ako si kanan”, “Filemon Mamon”, “araw sa palengke”.

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Do some activities

Let the kids be active in the afternoon so when they’re about to sleep no unused energy will keep them up. Most of the time kids fidget before sleeping because of the unspent energy they have in their little bodies. The best way to address that is to keep them active during the day.

These are just a few things to help sleeping be a breeze for my family and me. What routines or activities work for you and your kids?

CATEGORY Family, Motherhood
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8 Responses to “Sleeping tips for toddlers”

  1. Keating says:

    So many great tips!! I am so so fortunate that I started sleep training from day one. We wasted zero time with it haha we’ve always promoted good sleep habits with our daughter and started a consistent bedtime routine the day we came home from the hospital. She’ll officially be a toddler later this month and has been sleeping 12 hours straight since she was 5 weeks old haha it makes life soooo much easier.

    • Em Smith says:

      Oh wow! Good for her! My husband and I waited around 6 months to sleep training our eldest kids since they can take some puree food. Glad to hear your little one is a good sleeper. That is good for you too<3

  2. Tami says:

    All these are wonderful tips. What works best for my son is lots of activity during the day and a bath right before bedtime. Oh, and reading is a plus, too.

  3. Sharon says:

    What wonderful ways for getting little ones to sleep. Routine, making sure they get out and expend lots of energy – great tips for sure! Thanks for this post.

  4. Kim says:

    Great tips! I have been blessed with a child that sleeps well but it has to be on a routine even at 8 years old.

  5. Brittany says:

    I think having routines are really key. I am dealing with a baby who never sleeps right now so I will use these tips!

  6. Chanell says:

    Such great tips! Creating a routine is so so important. I don’t think I or anyone else in my household would be able to function if we didn’t have one.

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, photography, motherhood and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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