Many toddlers make a fuss over going to bed at night. But sometimes, a toddler really is having trouble falling or staying asleep. There are some natural sleep remedies available, as well as some things you can change in your daily routine to help your toddler sleep at night.
Several herbs have been used for centuries for their sleep-inducing or calming properties. Chamomile is perhaps the most well-known. California poppy, lavender and peppermint are also helpful and can be taken in tea form. There are also natural products that contain an assortment of herbs to help your toddler fall asleep. As when giving any supplement to your child, ask his doctor beforehand.
There are scents that can help calm a toddler's mind and relax her enough to help her sleep. Lavender is a common oil used in aromatherapy to help with sleep, and has a pleasant, familiar scent. Chamomile and sage can also be used. There are oil lamps and warmers that can be used, as well as candles and sprays. Some companies sell sprays with a mixture of calming oils. Besides the relaxing effects of aromatherapy, these scents will also help when, after a few days, your child begins to associate these smells with bedtime. You can also purchase baby shampoos and body washes that contain these scents, and use them during a before-bed bath to help your child wind down.
Foods that Help with Sleep
A glass of warm milk, long a popular before-bed snack, actually does help. Milk contains L-tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid. Some foods that also contain L-tryptophan are turkey, cheese, nuts, beans and eggs. Consider having one of these foods for dinner.
Other Things To Do
Don't let your child watch television or play video games before bed, as these can get your child excited and make it hard for her to sleep. Make her bedroom as dark as possible. Get blackout curtains for the windows if her bedtime comes when it's still light out. A small night light is all right if she's afraid of the dark. Avoid rough, loud or very active play in the few hours before bedtime. Colouring, reading books and playing with a dollhouse or other similar quiet activities are recommended. Avoid caffeinated drinks from the afternoon on. Also avoid giving sugary snacks or drinks in the hours before bed. Dessert can consist of some fruit slices.