Up until this time, your child is used to sleeping in their crib until the introduction of their toddler bed. The child has also grown from the little tot to a more understanding child who can communicate their need in a certain way.
This is stage where tantrums are common and you might find your child crying over and over again without much reason. For this and more, it is best to know how to handle your child and their new toddler bed for a smooth transition and adapting to the new environment with no fussy nights.
Let’s look at some dos and don’ts of a toddler bed:
1. Ensure the toddler bed’s frame, headboard and footboard fits tightly preventing the possibility of the baby getting stuck in a crack.
2. Ensure the bed is firmly placed on the wall so there are no cracks that the baby can roll in.
3. Use layers of thin blankets and chose firm pillows and a firm mattress.
1. Do not use heavy comforters, duvets and fluffy pillows on the toddler’s bed, they will cause discomfort or strangle the baby in their turning and rolling.
2. Do not dress your baby too warmly for sleep.
3. Do not allow pets to sleep in the same bed or room with your child, they may play with the beddings and suffocate the child.
4. Do not place the toddler’s bed next to a window as the noise outside or light may cause your toddler to wake up from their sleep.
5. Do not overcrowd the baby’s room with baby items, include only what is most needful in their room. A n overcrowded room is not comfortable for you too, it overcrowds your mind making you not sleep well, the child is not exceptional.
Dos and don’ts of toddler sleep:
– Teach your child to fall asleep alone, at this age they can soothe themselves to sleep – encourage it to allow independence otherwise they will keep climbing on and off the bed to catch your attention.
– Follow a bedtime ritual every day and do keep it consistent so that the child knows what to expect when and always stick to the same bedtime. Use the three magic B’s: Bath, Books and Bed – resist introducing fun games or funny stories at this time, they may encourage the child to think it’s time for play.
– Assure your child of their safety around the houses, leave a hallway light on for night check-ups. o offer your support and assurance to the child, lots of hugs and kisses will do just fine.
– Do not present your child with any choices when it’s bedtime, give them only one choice to get into their beds and sleep.
– Do not indulge in a power struggle with your child. Be calm and firm when the child whines or pleads, speak calmly and quietly but insist on them getting tucked up in bed.
– Refrain from the urge to hold them, cuddle them or lie down on their bed with them to comfort them, simply sit by their bedside and read them a book while tucked in their beds.
– Do not offer sugary snacks during or close to bedtime. Sugar fuels up a child energy and the potty break increases. Offer a warm glass of milk, a yoghurt or a plain biscuit or any other good-sleepy snacks.
– Do not allow your child to watch a video before bedtime – it engages the child at a time when you want them to disengage. Choose to read them a book and no matter the temptation to give something different stick to the old routine.
– Do not choose scary and complicated books, use simple books that motivate sleep by their stories.
– Do not associate bed time with time-outs. Get a time-out chair, this leaves the bed a safe happy place that they won’t resist at night.
With all the dos and don’ts remember that your child will not behave the same every day, there are days, they will not be sleepy at all, that doesn’t mean you should change the sleeping schedule – let the child know it’s still bed time even though they don’t feel sleep, they have to get into bed and do the normal routine, then they can sing to themselves until they fall asleep. This may require a little of your supervision to ensure they don’t leave their beds to walk around which most children are tempted to do.