That moment when your toddler does everything in the middle of the night besides sleep….
is the moment you beg for mercy. But, does it have to be?
Children, especially toddlers, are programmed to push boundaries. Through pushing those boundaries, they learn what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t.
There it is, calling for you over and over for the tenth time tonight. You go back there, trying to not lose your cool or let your groggy, tired self be too harsh, and all they need is a simple glass of water. Of course, you don’t get the water. It’s way too late and if they drink it, they will wet the bed in hour.
“But I need it, daddy…”
Well damn, they’re just too cute. But you hold your ground, give another kiss goodnight and then back to bed.
Getting all snugly, once more, “Daaaaddy…”
This time, there are monsters in the room. Twenty minute monster battler later, you finally get them all tucked back in and you head to back to bed.
Just as soon as you begin to doze… “Daaaddddy…”
Do you see the cycle?
What’s happening here is your little one is in that phase of no sleep. That phase where play and exploration is more fun than a stinky old nap or bedtime. So they use your tiredness to get what they want.
Children are adorably mischievous and will exploit your weaknesses. Don’t let them show!
The merry-go-round of questions, water, monsters and more at night or nap time are just ploys for attention. The more attention you give them, the more they are going to do it.
Is there a fix to all the crazy happening with your toddler? Well, I have a few suggestions.
Children need a routine. Wake up, nap and bedtime need to be the same every day. Same goes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Here is an example:
1pm Nap Time
Of course, there are those families that creating an exact schedule is difficult. Lifestyles are different and I get that. In fact, my household is one that is hard to keep in a routine because of my career. But, I learned quickly that not having a schedule made things much more difficult for my daughter. So, when making my weekly schedule, I am sure to account her routine, as well.
In addition to having set times for everything, you need a routine tasks, as well.
Here is an example:
Bedtime Tasks: Bath, Brush Teeth, Bedtime Story, Turn music on and night kisses.
Whatever the routine, make sure you stick to it. When children have a disruption in their routines, for example when sick or vacations, it takes a day or two to get back into it. This can cause for a fuss little one.
It’s not just for infants. I give my 3 year old daughter a lavender bath (lavender scented bather wash, shampoo and bubbles), put lavender lotion on her and then diffuse lavender oil while she sleeps. I have been doing this for almost 6 months and it has worked miracles. She doesn’t fuss as much, once she is asleep she stays asleep and she is having less nightmares.
For her nap time, I just diffuse the lavender oils.
Best investment you will ever make is a simple music player to play soothing tunes while your little one sleeps. When we travel and don’t have the soothing tunes, I sing to her until she is asleep. It helps create a feeling of safety and relaxation.
Read a story before they go to sleep. Nothing too intense. Something simple. This gets your little one calm and still in their comfy bed.
Well, that’s all I have for you guys. Hope this helps and please feel free to leave me a comment below.