The struggle as your baby transitions toddler-hood can be a challenging time for parents. You will encounter many battles and the reason for refusing bed can vary from; ‘just one more bedtime story, I am thirsty/hungry, I’m not tired’...the list goes on! However, the importance of developing a consistent bedtime routine for toddlers will go a long way to counteracting even the most challenging nights.
Consistent and predictable bedtime habits, albeit will change as the year's progress, can help create an aura of safety for your toddler as the world around them changes. ‘Change’ can be big or small. It could be things we as adults don’t give a second thought to, such as a change in weather and daylight hours, a new sound on the street such as a dog barking, a new teacher or child at daycare etc. With toddlerhood comes walking, talking and molars. These developmental and physical changes can also trigger sleep and settling difficulties.
Such changes can make your mini-me feel overwhelmed and overstimulated, making it harder for your child to go down for naps or nighttime sleep.
Our ergoPouch Doll Sleeping Bags have been designed as a sleep tool, to help your toddler or pre-schooler settle at bedtime with their favourite toy. Pretend play for growing minds has shown to be an effective learning mechanism for toddlers and pre-schoolers. It also provides an understanding of what’s expected of them in certain situations, develops their understanding of social and emotional skills and development, and problem-solving skills.
By encouraging your toddler to use the Doll Sleeping Bag to put their favourite doll or toy ‘to bed’ during play, they are subconsciously learning the expectations for a healthy sleep time routine for themselves.
How to use the Doll Sleeping Bag to establish a sleep routine
Below are some ideas on how you can establish a routine using the Doll Sleeping Bag.
All children are different and will respond to different bedtime routines. However, being consistent and calm before bed is key to developing healthy bedtime habits and mannerisms.
The ‘pre-bed’ routine (in the hour leading up to bed):
To encourage your toddler to settle down, try adopting a few cues that signal bedtime is soon approaching. Try and repeat these consistently every night where possible to help your child’s learning. Ideas include:
- Bath or shower time, brush teeth, put on pyjamas
- Dim the lights to reduce stimulus
- Place essential oils in a diffuser and/or play white noise
- Initiate quiet play with their toys or doll. Encouraging your child to mimic the same ‘pre-bed’ routine with their favourite teddy or doll, and dress their toy in the Doll Sleeping Bag.
We suggest no TV or screens in the hour leading up to bed.
The ‘time for bed’ routine:
Creating a calming, loving and consistent bedtime routine such as the classic story, song and cuddle. This is a simple but effective way to get your toddler down in their cot or bed.
Put on their sleeping bag/sleep suit bag/sleep onesies
Now that your child has put their toy’s sleeping bag on, it’s time for theirs! This act signals playtime is officially over, and the bedtime routine has begun.
Incorporating reading in your lap before bedtime helps your toddler feel safe, happy and relaxed. Encouraging your child to bring their doll or teddy along for storytime will help them sit still. If they would also like to ‘read’ a book to their toy, this roleplay will further help establish the routine.
The soothing sound of your voice will be a gentle reminder of the bedtime routine. Singing a song to dolly/teddy is a fun way to continue to establish the sleep cues and routines.
Cuddle and Bed
We all give our child one final cuddle and kiss before putting them down but think about encouraging your child to do the same with their doll. Kiss and cuddle for dolly/teddy, and put down in their ‘cot’ before putting your child in their own will continue to help them understand the routine.