Most parents understand what a nightmare bedtime can be. Getting a baby to sleep is tough enough, yet coaxing willful toddlers and energetic preschoolers to sleep can become a nightly clash of the titans. Now, with the help of Elizabeth Pantley, world renowned parenting author and her eight steps to nurturing sound sleep, sleep-deprived days become a thing of the past.
Announcing McGraw-Hill’s latest parenting release, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child’s Sleep, by Elizabeth Pantley. Discover how to put an end to sleepless nights, bedtime tears and the draining cycle of exhausted child and parent. Pantley’s renowned nurturing and child-centered techniques give many practical methods to help your child get to bed, stay in bed, and sleep all night.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers also addresses many common bedtime obstacles, including: refusals to go to bed, night waking and early rising, reluctance to move out of the crib, nighttime visits to the parents’ bed, nightmares and fears, special sleep issues of twins, special needs children, and adopted children, sleep talking, snoring, and teeth-grinding.
There is a solution to this exhausting cycle. By implementing Pantley’s 8 Step Sleep Solution, parents can empower themselves to understand and solve these bedtime woes.
THE 8-STEP SLEEP SOLUTION
- Maintain consistent bedtime and awaking times 7 days a week – When you establish a set time for bedtime and wake up time you “wind” your child’s clock so that it functions smoothly. Aim for an early bedtime. Toddlers and preschoolers respond best with a bedtime between 6:30 and 7:30 P.M.
- Encourage regular daily naps – Children aged 2-6 are full of energy so daily naps are critically important to recharge and revive.
- Set your child’s biological clock – Take advantage of your child’s natural biology so that they’re actually tired when bedtime arrives. Align your child’s sleepiness at bedtime by dimming the lights one hour prior. Expose your child to morning light, it’s equivalent to pushing a “go” button in their brain!
- Develop a consistent bedtime routine – Routines create feelings of security. A specific before-bed routine naturally ends with sleep. An organized routine helps coordinate the before bed agenda: bath, pajamas, teeth-brushing.
- Create a cozy sleep environment – Make certain the mattress is comfortable, the blankets are warm enough, the room temperature is right, pajamas are comfy and the bedroom is welcoming.
- Provide the right nutrition to improve sleep – Carbohydrate-rich foods can have a calming effect on the body, while foods high in protein or sugar generate alertness, particularly when eaten alone. A few ideas for pre-bedtime snacks are: whole-wheat toast and cheese, bagel and peanut butter, oatmeal with bananas, or yogurt and low-sugar granola.
- Help your child to be healthy and fit – A sedentary lifestyle prevents good sleep. Children who get ample daily physical exercise fall asleep more quickly, sleep better, stay asleep longer and wake up feeling more refreshed, however avoid physical activity in the hour before bedtime, since exercise is stimulating and has an alerting effect.
- Teach your child how to relax and fall asleep – Many children get in bed but aren’t sure what to do when they get there! It can help to follow a pre-bed routine that creates feelings of sleepiness. A common bedtime ritual is story time, and for good reason. A child listening to a parent read, will tend to lie still. This quiet stillness will allow them to become sleepy.
Elizabeth Pantley is a mother of four and president of parent education company, Better Beginnings, Inc in the USA. She is the author of several successful parenting books, most notably the outstanding internationally best-seller, The No-Cry Sleep Solution.