Good Night! Solutions for bedtime battles
December 30, 2020
Solutions for bedtime battles
As toddlers grow more active and independent, bedtime may become a challenge. Toddler’s sleep patterns often change and suddenly they try new strategies to avoid bedtime! Establishing a routine and expectations for bedtime is a must at this most challenging time.
Develop a bedtime routine that you can stick with every night.
Prepare your child for the transition to bed. Let your toddler know a few minutes before that bedtime is coming giving them time to get use to the idea.
Let your toddler slip into sleep slowly. (Bath, story time, cuddles, soothing music)
A comforting object like a small stuffed animal can help with sleep.
Use a night light for comfort.
Avoid using the bedroom as punishment/timeout place.
Make sure daytime naps are not interfering with nighttime sleep.
Decide on a plan of action. Parents and caregivers need to agree to the plan and use the same strategies. Give the plan time to work and remember that things may get worse before they get better.
Dr. Craig Canapari is a pediatrician and father who is passionate about helping you and your child sleep better. His website is an amazing resource to help you navigate sleep issues such as:
- Frequent awakenings
- Behavioral insomnia
- Early morning awakenings
- Bedtime negotiations (hunger, thirst, bathroom, etc.)
Summary of new recommendations for amount of sleep required at each stage of life:
- Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
- Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
- Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
- Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
- School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
- Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
- Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
- Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)