New research by toymaker Dream Lites has found that parents are becoming desperate at bedtime and are resorting to using the TV to send their toddlers to sleep.
Image: The Star
All parents have had moments where they will resort to almost anything to try and get their little ones to settle down for the night. A recent study found that one in five parents regularly let their children watch television until they fall asleep. Another 10% resort to bribing them into their beds with a promise of present, 9% giving them sweets and one in six parents even having to fall asleep in their little ones room.
Bedtime can be a very stressful time with 20% of children aged 3-6 years old having a tantrum before bed, according to the study of 1,500 parents by Dream Lites. If you are wishing for a calm, happy bedtime here is a bit of helpful advice to keep your little one happy and ready for bed.
Keeping to a regular sleep routine is the most effective way towards achieving a peaceful bedtime and gives your little one the best chance of a good night's sleep.
Try and keep an eye out for your baby's sleepiness cues: When your baby starts to rub his eyes and yawn, capitalise on that opportunity and don't try to keep the baby up when you see those signs. We know that can be hard, especially for new parents!
"Rock your baby, sing to them and soothe them." Dr Alanna Levine, a professional paediatrician suggests, "If you can get into the habit of putting your baby down awake, then when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, he or she can get back to sleep again".
Toddlers should be getting between 12-14 hours sleep plus naps. Consistency is key: "You need to do reinforce a routine " Levine said. "So if your child wakes up in the middle of the night, you can't bring your child into your bed once and not expect them to demand the same treatment every time."
Our sleep expert Dr Nerina recommends a wind down routine before bed to help your little one settle at bedtime. "Leading up to bed is the perfect opportunity to grab some quality cuddle time by turning off the TV, iPads and any other technology 90 minutes before bed and instead try and snuggle up to a book after a nice relaxing bath. This will create a calm, soothing wind down routine that will help your little one get a good nights sleep."