Parenting with PLAY!
5 days to
Welcome to Day 4
Naps - some toddlers drop them soon after they turn 2. Others need them for longer. It can be hard to know when to drop the day sleep. But before you do, especially if you can clearly see your child still needs a nap but is struggling with bedtime, then the play & connection is going to help.
My first invitation to you today is to not automatically assume that naps are the problem. As you’re starting to see over these few days, other factors have a big impact on bedtimes.
The other thing to consider today is about your child’s strong need for connection.
Going to sleep is actually a big point of separation from you. And, as with all separations, the more your child feels connected to you, the easier that separation becomes (we talk a lot about separation in my new Thriving Toddlers course). Which is why the games & the play help to strengthen that sense of connection.
But it’s highly likely that your toddler will have some big upset feelings about separation and will want you to stay with them whilst they fall asleep.
So it could be time to reframe your toddler going to sleep on their own.
This is not to say you have to co-sleep (although it has so many benefits and has been much maligned in our Western Culture), but it’s important to recognise that your toddler still needs to feel close to you when they go to sleep.
By bringing the play which we’ve talked about the previous 2 days they’re much more likely to go to sleep much quicker and you can get on with your evening (unless you fall asleep with them which my hubby & I sometimes do!).
But if you’re already being with them whilst they go to sleep and they are STILL take ages, especially after playing with them, then chances are they're still carrying upset feelings which need to be offloaded through a cry with you.
Which is why tears & tantrums are the missing piece to all of this.
It’s a big topic, so be sure to join me tomorrow:
Tears & Tantrums - The Missing Piece
this Wednesday, 7 August at 12pm.
Bring your questions to ask me directly and there will be a special bonus for those who show up live!
Remember that it’s developmentally normal & necessary for your toddler to want to be near you at bedtime. So start to reflect on your beliefs & expectations around your toddler & sleep. We need to stop being afraid of our toddlers being dependent on us! They’re naturally going to grow up & stop needing us so much, possibly sooner than you think...
Enjoy another evening of playing tonight, stay close to them whilst they fall asleep, and then I’ll see you tomorrow for the final piece of tears & tantrums.
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