Thursday, June 26, 2014

Teaching Your Toddler To Sleep

And we are back with the final week of the One Year and Beyond Link Up!  The last seven weeks have been great! We have covered:
Blogging When You Are A Busy Mama

They have all been such great topics and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of this fun link up! We will be taking a short break over the summer and then will return with even more fun mama topics, so stay tuned!  

This week, we are talking about bedtime battles and how to get your toddler to sleep!

And yes, I am a creepy mom who goes in their child's room at night to photograph her sleeping. Guilty as charged!

Sleep is so important for babies and toddlers! It can make all the difference in their mood for the days following. I always thought parents were crazy when they blamed their child's tantrum on lack of a nap but boy, it's so true!

I used to dread bedtime when our daughter was a baby. I just got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach because I knew it meant crying and confusion and an unsettling feeling for me. But I am happy to say, we are finally at a point where naps and bedtime are a breeze.

What's the key? 
Consistency

I never realized how important consistency was until it came to bedtime. If a toddler knows what to expect, they are prepared for it, and it's so much easier! If they are caught off guard and feel out of control and confused, they don't cooperate well at all.

Here are the ways we incorporate consistency into bedtime.

1. We have set nap times and bedtimes. I used to just wait until I thought my daughter was tired to put her to bed, but I often realized that she was tired long before she showed any signs! When we put sweet pea on a sleeping schedule, nap time and bedtime became a lot easier!
In case you are looking for something to go off of, here is our sleeping schedule for our 18 month old:

9:00 AM nap #1
2:00 PM nap #2
8:00 PM bedtime
6:00 AM wake up!

2. We have a bedtime routine. Around 7:30, we give her a bath if she needs one, give her a fresh diaper and put her in her pjs. Then we have some time to read books or play for a little bit before going to sleep. Right before we lay her down, dad prays with her and she holds our hands. This is one of the most special times of our day and I think it helps her relax and feel safe before we leave her. Then we both kiss her goodnight and lay her in the crib! She occasionally cries for a few minutes but typically just falls right to sleep. The past few weeks there have even been a few nights where she has asked to go in her crib and go night-night!

3. We stick with it. Even if our daughter isn't cooperating, we still put her down. She is not in charge. We are her parents are and we are responsible for her getting enough sleep! She has finally learned not to fight bedtime after months and months of consistency and even a little bit of crying. I have learned not to rush to my daughter's side every time she lets out a cry in her crib. I used to feel guilty for not comforting her every time, but I have come to learn that if I let her cry just for a little while, she often falls asleep. If I go in to comfort her right away, it makes me feel better, but it actually wakes her up, distracts her, and makes her even more upset when I leave, which in turn results in even more crying! 

 Being a mother has taught me to be confident in the decisions I have made and to not weigh my decisions based on the opinions of other people, even when it comes to sleeping! I know what works for my daughter, regardless of what other people's opinions on my method are! Be confident in the decisions you make as a mother, because if you go back and forth and are unsure, it can really negatively effect your child!

I am excited to read all of the tips and tricks you all have to share about bedtimes and sleeping children. Link them up below!

From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree
         

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)


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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

7 comments:

  1. This is SUCH great advice. We all thrive on routine, and especially in this young years- it is so important to establish that! When little ones don't have schedules, they struggle. And sleep is the most important piece to their development for sure!

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  2. our posts for today are almost identical! haha, great minds think alike. Yes kids love routine and alittle crying now saves us so much anxiety in the end! Good work mama!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yes! Great minds do think alike :) Good work to you too!

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  3. so so true! I wish I knew earlier on how important the routine and consistency is. Thankfully, we're at a pretty good place now but if there's ever a #2 we won't wait to long for more structure around sleep time!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, same here! I will be so much better prepared for the next babies to come :)

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  4. Consistency has been so important for us too! It gives Aislynn a routine to look forward to and has made bedtime so much easier.

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