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Natural Sleep Remedies for Toddlers

by
author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
Natural Sleep Remedies for Toddlers
Many American toddlers don't get enough sleep at night. Photo Credit smiling toddler image by CreativeWarrior from Fotolia.com

Overview

It's common for young children to have trouble sleeping at night, particularly if they are being weaned off sleeping infrequently at night and are being pushed to last through an entire night of sleep without waking up. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average American child only gets 11.7 hours of sleep per night, when 12 to 14 hours are recommended. If your toddler is missing out due to problems falling asleep, there are several things you can do.

Use a Night-light

If your child is waking up at night and becoming upset, it could be due to the lack of light. Toddlers can become confused and upset when they wake up in a dark room and can't see anything. An easy way to settle this is to place a night-light in your child's bedroom, illuminating the room without putting out enough light that it distracts your child and keeps him awake. This will help your child settle down and fall asleep faster without having to bother you. Set a timer on the nightlight to turn off when morning arrives so your toddler can see when it is time to get up.

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Serve Bedtime Snacks

Going to bed hungry can make it difficult for your toddler to fall asleep, but feeding her the wrong foods could make her hyperactive and make sleep even more difficult to achieve. A bedtime snack is not a bad idea if done properly. The ideal snack should be high in carbohydrates and calcium, with moderate to low amounts of protein. Suggestions include whole-grain cereal and milk or a banana and cottage cheese. Experiment with what your child prefers and use it shortly before bedtime to facilitate sleeping.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

People are creatures of habit, and toddlers are no different. You can help prepare your child's mind and body for bed by creating a nightly bedtime routine that signals the start of sleep. Your routine could include giving a child a bath, playing a quiet game, dressing for bed and reading a bedtime story. Make an effort to do things in the same order every night, holding your children to a set bedtime every night.

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References

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