Yesterday I introduced the concept of gentle methods for getting babies and toddlers to sleep without letting them cry it out. Over the next few days I’ll give additional tips.
Tip 2. Lots of Fresh Air and Exercise
With my kids and with lots of other kids I know, this is the single most important factor in determining how well they sleep at night. When our son was going through a really rough period with sleep as a toddler he was spending several hours outside each day running around. When we doubled the amount of time he was spending outside his sleep improved exponentially. Even in cold climates (we live in Canada), I recommend finding a way to get outside with your kids every day (bundle them up and go for several short trips outside if need be) and finding places for them to get exercise (playgroups and indoor playgrounds are great for this, but other options include going for a walk around a museum or a mall or other place where your child can walk for a long time). So if you’re spending 2 hours being active with your baby or toddler, try 4 hours instead and see if that makes a difference. Our kids need that exercise and fresh air anyways, so even if it doesn’t help with sleep, it is a good thing nonetheless.