Most toddlers require between 12 and 14 hours of sleep a day, according to the National Sleep Foundation; but that includes naptimes while your child is at Horizon’s toddler care program. If your child is napping once or twice a day while at childcare, he may need slightly less sleep at night. Parents will also find that toddlers sleep more during growth spurts. If you are concerned about your child’s bedtime sleep habits, your toddler’s teacher may be able to offer some helpful suggestions.
Use the following tips to help your toddler prepare for sleep:
- Maintain a daily sleep schedule and stick to it.
- Dim the lights and encourage quieter play during the hour before bedtime. Ban TV and electronic games during this final hour as the type of light they generate triggers wakefulness.
- Bedtime preparations should begin about 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment in your child’s bedroom. Most children sleep best in a room that is cool, quiet and dark.
- Start developing a relaxing and consistent bedtime routine. In time, the bedtime routine will help cue your child’s mind and body to prepare for sleep.
- A warm bath can help settle your child’s body for sleep. Some parents add calming lavender bubble bath or oil to the bath water to aid relaxation.
- Cuddling your toddler while reading a story is a nice way to end the day and can help calm your child so he is ready for sleep.
- Give your child a goodnight hug and kiss as you turn out the lights. Parents should come to the child’s bedroom for this final goodnight ritual so that the bedtime routine can end with the child in bed.