Sleep aids come in many forms and fashions. With that said, what is the best sleep aid for your toddler?
Sleep aid you ask? Why do I want to drug my toddler, would probably be your first question.
As I started out, there are many things that you can do as a sleep aid that does not involve medication. So, today I would like to touch on a few tips that may help get your toddler to sleep a little easier at night.
As I have stated in the past my grandson Mason is having trouble sleeping at night. Let me clarify, once he is asleep he sleeps through the night just fine. It is the getting to sleep that is the problem.
This partly my fault, so as I search for a clue to try to help him I will share my experience with you. My
hope is you can find a way that works for you that will make sleep training easier for you.
I have spoken to other parents of toddlers and found that getting a toddler to sleep is a constant battle across the lines. Almost every toddler has problems going to sleep at night. So what is the cure? How do you get your toddler to sleep without the crying, screaming, and total breakdown every night? What is the best sleep aid?
I have found several tips or techniques that may help. Most importantly, let me say I do not endorse giving your child any kind of sleep aid that is considered medication unless your child’s doctor has recommended due to serious conditions. Now that I have given my disclosure let me continue.
I will start by saying that I have given Mason a toddler’s dose of Melatonin.
As I have written in the past Melatonin is a natural supplement that is produced in your body basically when the sun goes down.
I was able to calm the stress at bedtime during a training process. I will say that now, I very rarely use it today. This sleep aid seemed to help solve a temporary solution however I don’t think I would rely on melatonin as a permanent solution unless the doctor recommended.
If you would like to try it you can get it here. This is what we were using and he seemed to really like the taste.
The main reason we were able to remove the melatonin is that Mason has started skipping naps during the day. So after a hard day of playing, he falls asleep very quickly.
If you are a stay-at-home parent you will understand that nap time is very important not only
for your child’s benefit but for your sanity. So, let dive into some other sleep aids that work that is not considered medicine.
Is it Hot in Here?
One thing that I think we tend to overlook is your toddler’s comfort. Don’t get me wrong I am sure you have purchased the finest comforter and bedding set that money can buy. However, is he comfortable with all that bedding?
Are there toys in his bed? What is the room temperature? Do you have a fan in the room? Comfort is a sleep aid that sometimes is overlooked, however, it is important. Your toddler needs to be comfortable, just as you do when he sleeps. This will ensure a good night’s sleep.
There is a Monster in My Room
With that said, lack of comfort can be many things from fear to a hard mattress. As you already know, a toddler goes through many stages of sleep issues as they get older. It is very important to recognize the different stages as they develop.
When we transitioned Mason from the crib to a toddler bed we started noticing the sleep issues. when he was in his crib he fell asleep from boredom.
He was pretty much trapped and had nowhere to go. I don’t mean that in a bad way and I don’t feel he was traumatized by being in his crib.
However, what I did notice was that once he could escape he did so freely. The first issue we had was, he was falling out of the toddler bed.
This presented a fear for him. I noticed that he no longer wanted to sleep in the toddler bed mainly because he was afraid of falling out.
Once I installed the bed rails he knew that he was now safe. He slept in the toddler bed for a little over a year. I must say we struggled almost nightly with him staying in bed and falling asleep.
The solution was sitting outside his bedroom until he fell asleep. I don’t even want to discuss how inconvenient this was. However, at the time it was the only thing that seemed to work. So if you look at the situation, he is battling a fear that he can’t seem to overcome.
So, what is this fear, currently I am not sure he has not told me? Does your child express fear at night? The best thing you can do is address the fear. By addressing the fear perhaps you can solve this sleep issue.
Music solves many issues
Music or white noise will solve many sleep issues with your toddler. That is to say, music is a great sleep aid that I have found works great.
If you think about your nightly activities after your toddler goes down for the night. There are several noises throughout the house that can cause a child to not want to sleep. I am sure that you have noticed your child is very curious and this curiosity starts at a very young age.
When you put them to sleep and they hear activity outside the room they become curious or afraid they are going to miss something. So try placing a radio or other white noise-producing machine in the room. Personally, we use an Amazon Echo Dot in Mason’s room.
We can put on a baby lullaby station and this allows him to hear the music and not my activity. I have noticed this to be a very effective way to help Mason go to sleep at night.
Change is not good
Try to keep change to a minimum. This means setting a bedtime. Tell your toddler what that bedtime is and stick to it. Believe it or not, probably the biggest sleep aid you can use is consistency.
Whether you are using music, reading or comfort stay consistent. Choose a bedtime that you can make work with your schedule. Have the fan at the same speed every night, turn on the same light, if you are using light.
Remove the fears the same way every night. You get the drift here I’m sure.
Choose a routine that works for you and your toddler and stick to it.
When I built Mason’s new bed I think I went a little overboard. And it seems that I have created another level of fear for him. By elevating the bed I feel like he now has that fear if he falls out it will hurt.
As a result, he wants to sleep in my bed every night. I tried putting him in his bed after he falls asleep at night. However, this worked for only a couple of nights.
He started waking in the middle of the night just to get back in my bed. So, for now, until I can figure out another method he will continue to sleep in my bed.
I have shared many sleep aids that work without the use of medication. I hope that you get some ideas to help with getting your toddler to bed easier. Always keep in mind that by being consistent every night you can overcome this issue.
Also, keep in mind that you are not alone. That is to say, just about every parent struggles with sleep issues with their toddler. It does get better I promise.
If you have any experience you would like to share or additional comments about the best sleep aid that has worked for you please share below. You just might be able to help someone else that is going thru the same issue. I look forward to reading your comments and other solutions. Until next time. Thank you for reading this article