Greetings from ZAZOO KiDS! We are so pleased to be here on The Baby Sleep Site® today. We have long admired The Baby Sleep Site community for their values that run so parallel to our own: good sleep, for the entire family, is an important piece of the path to happy, healthy lives.
One prevalent piece of the parenthood discussion is the challenge that surrounds newborn and infant sleep schedules. New mothers and fathers are counseled from every angle on how to best help their newborn babies sleep through the night, as quickly as possible. We have noticed, however, that the conversation often ends there. But as every parent knows, all infants become toddlers, and often, bedtime difficulties continue coming up well into childhood.
Toddlers are in a period of discovery and sometimes they just want to keep playing and learning – past their bedtime. Often, toddlers who suffer from chronic ear infections or other health issues develop a habitual tendency to wake up through the night, even after they have healed. Toddlers are also at a developmental point that invites separation anxiety and night terrors into their sleep lives. While the things that cause infants to wake up are usually rooted in survival –like hunger or pain – toddlers have reached a different stage and should be treated accordingly.
Some parents even express, incredulously, that their toddlers seemed to sleep much better when they were babies. There is good news, however, to pair with these challenges. Along with the toddler’s increased development comes an increased capacity to learn behaviors and expectations. The secret to helping a toddler sleep through the night lies in managing their understanding of sleep expectations and how to meet them.
The tricks to training toddlers in sleep are simpler than you might imagine.
Consistent naptimes. Consistent bedtimes.
Toddlers have a biological clock just like their parents, and sticking to the same times for sleep every day helps their minds understand when to relax and fall into slumber. Consistency is everything.
Give your toddlers a glass of water to keep by their bedside, and teach them that if they are having trouble falling back to sleep, a refreshing sip of it will do the trick. They will learn this habit and administer it to themselves – while you sleep through the night.
The Bedtime Routine.
You have heard this before, and not without reason. A bedtime routine helps anyone relax, settle down and prepare the brain for sleep, especially toddlers.
We think comfort objects aren’t such a bad idea. With the knowledge that toddlers often suffer from separation anxiety, why not allow them to have a comforting blanket or stuffed animal next to them in the dark hours of the morning?
At ZAZOO, we have created a business around the need for kids (and their parents) to sleep better. Consider using our clock to help your child sleep through the night. It shows children the time, even before they can understand it, but quickly switches to an image that is easily recognizable as “awake time” or “rest time.” We find that some kids even take pride in learning to distinguish the correct time, and its associated behavior, all by themselves. The clock enables toddlers to meet sleep expectations with visual guidance.
The ZAZOO Photo Clock is best introduced between the ages of 18 and 36 months, depending on the child’s developmental status and maturity level. Their ability to associate the time they see with the image they see will become apparent to you through reading and other activities.
Don’t be alarmed if you try the clock and your child doesn’t show interest; instead, change the settings. The clock is designed to be personalized – upload family photos and favorite songs to make it engaging, and use creative approaches like making the “rest time” image a picture of the child using it!
Incorporate the Photo Clock into your child’s life at nighttime, when it’s meant to be used. Review what the images mean together as if you are reading a bedtime story, and make it part of the regular bedtime routine. Ask your child to verbally repeat to you what the “sun photo” means, for example, by saying “The sun means it’s okay to get out of bed!” With some practice, you will see great rewards from the Photo Clock – more rest for you and your kids!
If you’re a tired parent struggling with toddler sleep issues, hang in there. There are solutions to your problem and it will get better! We hope these tips, along with our Photo Clock, provide some of the relief that you need. Happy resting!
About ZAZOO KiDS: The award-winning ZAZOO Photo Clock is an innovative sleep solution for children who wake up too early or don’t stay in bed all night. The contemporary ZAZOO Photo Clock lets your child know it’s time to wake when the sun is displayed and time to stay in bed when the moon is displayed. There is even a convenient nap-time setting.
Parents can use the pre-programmed image options or easily personalize the awake and asleep images. Ensuring years of use, the ZAZOO Photo Clock includes features such as: rotating photo frame, music, audio book, alarm clock and video capabilities. The ZAZOO Photo Clock now includes music from children’s artists from coast-to-coast in an amazing 11-song compilation that’s built into the memory of the Photo Clock. Or, upload your own tunes or audiobooks.
ZAZOO KiDS has kindly offered to giveaway one of their photo clocks to a Baby Sleep Site reader. See below for the options for entering the giveaway.
You can enter the giveaway today through 8:59 pm EST on August 18, 2013. *Open to US Entrants Only.