Your little one may need some extra help at times to go to sleep at night, stay in their room or bed, and continue to take that afternoon nap. Sometimes it’s the Tricks of The (SLEEP) Trade that need to come out. Here are a few fun (and crafty – yay!) tricks that can give you the support you need.
1. Bedtime Routine Door Hanger – Bedtime routine is an important start of a healthy night sleep. You can even implement a shorter naptime routine. Instead of a sticker chart, try this fun idea! Once you complete a step in your bedtime routine you would place the clothes peg on the door hanger. Better yet, get your little one to do it and they’ll be happy to be involved in the process. This way when they pull out the usual excuses to delay bedtime all you have to do is point to their door and remind them it’s been done.
2. Quiet Time Box – It’s simple really. The longer your little one can stay in their room or in their bed the better chance they have of falling asleep. When you are struggling with their nap, head to the dollar store and fill a Quiet Time Box full of books, puzzles, colouring and activity books, and figurines, etc. At the start of each nap they are allowed to choose one toy from the box and play with it quietly in their room. At the end of the nap they can put it back in the box. Next day, rinse and repeat.
3. Toddler Alarm Clock – Something I recommend most parents of a child 2+ years of age to own is a toddler alarm clock. These clocks work great in giving your child a visual cue that it’s night time and time to stay in bed, and for the early risers it tells them when it’s the right time to get out of bed. Great for naps too mom and dad!
4. Jar of Marbles – This is an easy trick with a positive result. Start with two clear containers. Have one filled with 5 marbles (to represent 5 nights) and one empty. Every time your child sleeps through the night, doesn’t call out or come to your room, you would move one marble to the other jar. Remember you need to be firm and consistent in your sleep rules with you toddler. You can’t move a marble if they stayed in bed but still called out. It’s only if they follow through with everything. If you give an inch, they’ll take a mile. Once you’ve moved all the marbles over they can receive a small reward.
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips please visit Good Night Sleep Site.