One thing that every new parent daydreams of is getting a good night’s sleep. Come on, be honest; you’ve all been there. But that never happens when your child isn’t sleeping through the night yet. And getting them to do that is one of the most challenging things you’ll face as a new parent.
We tried many different things from when our daughter was a baby, slowly learning what works for her and what doesn’t. Now, two and a half years in, we think we’ve cracked the code when it comes to getting her to sleep through the night almost 100% of the time! So, I thought it would be a good idea to share these things with you guys, in the hopes that they may help you too. Of course, each child is different, so not all of these will necessarily be right for your kid, but they might be worth a try!
Give A Bath After Lunch, Not A Bed Time
Whilst many babies and toddlers enjoy having a bath before bed time, with our little princess we found that it didn’t relax her ready for bed… Instead, she got more excited and wanted to play for longer! This, in turn, meant that she stayed awake longer or woke up during the night wanting to play.
What we found was that, if we gave her a bath after lunch, she got her pick-me-up energy boost nice and early. This meant that she played a lot more during the afternoon and evening, wearing herself out at a much faster rate. From there, when it came to bed time, she was already tired and exhausted. Thus, when we put her down for bed it’s only about 10 – 15 minutes before she is fast asleep.
Warm Milk First, Thin Juice Second
Another trick that we’ve found over the past couple of years is that warm milk just before bed doesn’t seem to work on our daughter. Instead, it makes her gassy, so she can’t get comfortable when trying to sleep. However, it does make her tired. So, it’s a catch 22 situation.
At least, we thought it was, until we decided to try giving her warm milk a full 2 and a half hours before bed time!
Doing this allowed her to get the gas out of her system nice and early, without it making her uncomfortable when trying to lay in bed. Then, to make sure that she’s nice and full for the night, just before bed time we give her some very watered down cranberry juice. This allows her to feel content and satisfied in the belly, without giving her a buzz and making her want to play more.
Main Lights Off, Night Light On
I know quite a lot of people who tend to put their children to bed, turning off the lights in the child’s room, but then go to their room and have the lights on there. Since we don’t close her door (we like to be able to hear if she’s moaning), this doesn’t work for us as the light spills into her room, keeping her awake.
As such, we actually have night lights in our room as well.
This allows us to have our room lit up enough to see what we need to and be comfortable whilst in bed watching TV. On top of that, it also means that her room stays dim enough for her to know that it is time to sleep. Add that to the full belly and worn out state she is in after playing so much, and you’ve got a winning combination that, so far, has not failed!
And That’s All Folks
Routine is very important for kids, so you need to get one set up as soon as possible. It took us a few different tries to find the right one for our daughter, but hopefully these three steps will (at the very least) give you some ideas on a routine for your kids.
Do any of you have other tips on how to get a toddler to sleep through the night? Let us all know in the comments below!