Once, you could simply rock your infant to sleep. Now your child is a squirmy, strong-willed toddler who simply hates bedtime. But don’t despair: A few simple steps can really help make bedtime a more pleasant time of the day.
1. Determine a good time schedule. Allow plenty of hours between naptime and bedtime. If they are too close together, your child is unlikely to sleep.
2. On average a two-year-old sleeps about 11 hours at night and two hours during the day. Although this is not a solid rule.
3. Be sure your child has enough physical exercise. Age 2-3 years have a lot of energy and if it’s not burned off, it may interfere with sleep later on.
4. Agree on a consistent word (preferably one word) that he/she can associate with sleeping. Examples, “night”, “nappy”. If your Child understands what is going on, there’s a better chance of cooperation.
5. Plan out a routine for the child to wind him/her down with. Typical routines include a bath, a sippy cup, story time, or a lullaby.
6. Make your home quiet and dim lights an hour before bedtime to allow your child to transition from daytime to nighttime.
7. Prepare everything: the bed, the child, and you. This is the time when you change their diaper, pull anything out of the bed/crib, and grab a book to read to him/her.
8. Instead of reading consider singing the same song every night or repeating the same poem every night as a sleep cue. This will streamline the routing to make it always the same and not having an extra-long book to read some nights.
9. Children love a schedule, so follow the exact same routine daily and soon they’ll know exactly what to expect. They’ll know that first comes a bath, then a story and song, then it’s time to sleep.
10. Teach your children to stay in bed and lie quietly. You can practice this during the day.
11. You can also try rubbing his/her back. Many children find physical touch very soothing and reassuring. Even two year olds like a nice back rub once in a while.