Nothing may drive you closer to the brink of insanity as your toddler’s war against going to sleep at night.
In addition to making your young one more enjoyable to be around, getting plenty of sleep can help him stay focused when he’s learning and playing, prevent fatigue-induced accidents, and improve his immune system.
In order to give you some solutions, we must first figure out “why do toddlers fight sleep?”
Toddlers Do Not Want to Miss Anything
The answer to the question “why does my 2-month-old fight sleep?” varies quite a bit from why toddlers fight sleep. One of the main ways they differ is that toddlers are social beings. They often want to be in the middle of everything.
When your child is stuck in her boring old bedroom, she assumes you are watching Sesame Street, playing with her dolls, and eating ice cream. This makes it difficult for her to transition from her busy day to sleepy time.
You can help your wee one unwind with a soothing and calming bedtime routine. This includes letting her know that after a busy day everyone in the house is looking forward to getting rest. A nice conversation about the day and a warm bath can set the tone.
You might also try a gentle, soothing massage with lavender lotion with the lights dimmed. Help convince her you are not having fun without her by talking about future plans, such as a big family picnic or a trip to Grandma’s house.
Quietly and calmly return her to bed if you hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet once you leave the room. She will soon see she is fighting a losing battle once you consistently return her to bed.
Separation Anxiety Can Always Come Back
You may have researched “why does my 6-month-old fight sleep?” in the past and found that separation anxiety was a likely culprit. Well, it has a habit of coming back in toddlers as well. Your toddler may not be playing with you when he begs you to stay with him after you have tucked him in.
Often times, your young one just wants to have you around. To help with this, take a little additional time to tuck him in and connect with him. Include time for kisses and snuggles when you are reading stories. Have a quiet conversation about the day before turning out the lights.
Your child is likely a skilled debater at this time, so do not get bogged down in discussing why he cannot stay up with you. Instead, reassure him that you are in the next room and can hear him if he needs you. Then, say good night.
If it helps him to settle down, leave the door open a crack or turn on a night light. Also, be sure to limit how many times you will return to the room upon his beckoning. And, no singing, cuddling, or chatting: these are short, boring business visits.
Your Toddler Wants to Be in Control
When toddlers are first hired for their job, they are trained to say no to just about everything. There is no way it is a good idea to go to bed when daddy says so. This is another way toddlers have advanced from when you were left trying to figure out “why does my 8-month-old fight sleep?”
Toddlers, and many adults for that matter, want to do things that were their idea. So, let your wee one have some say over her bedtime routine.
You can help her come to terms with the idea that lights go out at 8 pm by allowing your toddler to pick which books you will read, which stuffed animals will sleep with her, and which pair of pajamas she will wear.
Make sure you start the bedtime routine well before bedtime. You do not want the last minute negotiations to last too long.
Hopefully, this article helped you answer the question “why do toddlers fight sleep?” for your young one. With these helpful tips, you will get your child into the habit of listening to you when you tell them it is time for bed, and everyone in your household will sleep better because of it. Sweet dreams!