Sleep Strategies for Preschoolers
By the end of day you feel exhausted and tired, and your preschooler should feel the same. All you want to do is sleep but your little one may refuse to sleep even though he has had a hectic day and is tired. Preschool children try to resist sleep and don’t like to go to bed. Even if you finally manage to tuck your preschooler in bed there is no guarantee s/he will stay there. So, how to make your preschooler go to bed and stay there? Here are some sleep strategies for preschoolers so that everyone has a restful night.
Make before-bedtime quiet: What does your preschooler do before bedtime? Does he wrestle or play with his dad? Watches television? Kids love these activities so naturally he does not like to go to bed. The key to get your child to bed is to make the time before sleep quiet and serene. Put him to bed before he is actually very tired. If your child is tired by bedtime then he may find it difficult to sleep.
Have a scheduled bed time and a bedtime routine: Have a wind down schedule before putting your preschooler for sleep such as give her/him a bath, change his clothes, or read a story in bed. But ensure that whatever you do both your child and you enjoy. S/he needs to be relaxed. This will make him feel sleepy and ready for bed.
Make his day busy: Preschoolers are bundle of energy and can go on and on even when they are really tired.
They stimulate themselves to avoid sleeping. Keep them busy during the day. Take your child to the park to play, or play at home with them—this way they have fun and spend the energy that prevents them from sleeping at night.
Make daytime naps shorter: A sleep strategy for preschoolers that will definitely benefit you is making your child’s daytime naps shorter by letting them sleep in a well lit room and by not maintaining pin drop silence while they are sleeping. If your preschooler sleeps for long in the daytime s/he may not sleep well at night.
Let your preschooler sleep independently: Encourage your preschooler to sleep independently in his bed or crib rather than putting him in the bed after he is asleep. This way the child learns to sleep in his own bed all by himself. Even when he wakes up in the middle of the night he can soothe himself back to sleep. If he gets up in the night and cries, wait for some time before going close to her/him. Allow your preschooler to fall asleep without your assistance. This way, he can learn to go back to sleep independently. Give your child a special blanket or toy for bed which s/he can hold and sleep.
Make him feel safe and secure: Does your kid resist sleeping because s/he afraid of dark or afraid to sleep in her/his room? Reassure him that he is safe, talk to him about his fears and reassure that you are in the next room and will be with him when needed. In addition, make his room conducive for a good night sleep such as plan the lighting scheme according to her/his preference (it can be dark or well-lit), or play music if your child likes it.
Before you tuck in your preschooler for sleep, make sure he has everything that s/he wants to sleep well through the night –like his favourite stuffed animal, his preferred blanket, a drink of water, and a visit to the washroom. To teach your preschooler to sleep well, be patient and firm. Like other preschool problems this too passes and all children learn to sleep through the night.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team May 23, 2011
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