As a sleep consultant, I don’t promote remedies or tricks to “magically” get your child to fall asleep faster.
However, there are some natural remedies that you can do to help your toddler fall asleep faster if you truly have an independent sleeper who knows how to sleep.
In this YouTube video and podcast episode, I’m sharing my 4 favorite natural remedies that can help your toddler fall asleep faster at bedtime.
Does Your Toddler Have the Right Schedule?
I have one very important disclaimer to share before we dive further into the topic of helping your toddler fall asleep faster at night.
Even though I am not talking about your child’s schedule in this video, it’s extremely important to realize that your child’s daily schedule really matters.
In fact, your child’s daily schedule is what’s MOST important when it comes to helping your child fall asleep at night.
However, I’m not going to talk about your child’s schedule in this video.
This video assumes that your toddler is following the right schedule.
If you are currently doubting your toddler’s nap schedule, I want to point you to our Complete Schedule Guide HERE.
My complete schedule guide will give you every single piece of information that you’ll need for your child’s sleep schedule from 0 to 3 years old.
There are a lot of schedule changes between 4 to 16 months old and this complete schedule guide will give you the exact, age-appropriate schedule that your child needs.
<<< Along with following the right schedule, it’s also extremely important that your child knows how to sleep independently. If your toddler currently needs help falling asleep at night, I want to point you to our Sleep Training Programs HERE.
How to Help Your Toddler Fall Asleep Faster At Night
Here at Little Z’s, we provide sleep support for children ages 0 to 5 years old.
We have a specific sleep training program for each of these age groups as well as schedules and guides that will help you continue to keep sleep a thing.
Our sleep plans focus deeply on consistent routines and timing.
They do not contain nightly regimens of holistic oils, vitamins, or supplements that claim to help your child sleep all night.
In fact, a pill, juice, powder, or an oil might be nice in the moment, but they will not be the saving grace for your toddler’s sleep, nor are they a long-lasting solution.
Although a product is not going to be a saving grace for your child, I do want to share about four natural remedies that I believe in.
I teach and support these remedies inside of my courses because I’m truly confident that they can help your toddler fall asleep faster and more easily at bedtime.
1. Expose your child to sunlight in the morning and the evening
The first natural remedy that I want you to work on with your child is sun exposure.
Exposure to the sun helps to energize your body in the morning and prepare your body for sleep at night.
It’s essential for a good night of sleep.
Because of this, I want you to aim for sun exposure both in the morning and in the evening.
In the morning, when your child wakes up, go outside and blow some bubbles while breakfast is cooking.
Or, if you’re in a really cold area right now and you can’t go outside, find some sunshine shining through a window.
Exposing your child to the sun first thing in the morning signals to their brain and body that it is time to start the day and it’s time to stop sleeping for a while.
If your toddler has been struggling to fall asleep at nighttime, sun exposure in the evening can help remind their body of their internal circadian rhythm!
At the end of the day, when the sun sits lower in the sky, it cues our brain to produce melatonin.
Melatonin is the “sleepy” hormone and the more your body makes, the better!
I want to pause for a moment and explain that melatonin supplements are not needed for your child to sleep.
In fact, if your child is currently using them, I highly recommend that you stop using them as soon as possible.
There are several issues with using melatonin supplements, and if you would like to know more, please check out my YouTube video and blog on Melatonin HERE.
Your child has enough natural melatonin inside of them and all we need to do is get them outside in the sunshine more.
Sun exposure triggers your child’s suprachiasmatic nucleus in their brain, known as their “master circadian pacemaker,” which alerts their body to produce more melatonin so that they can fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Sun exposure is not only a natural remedy that helps children sleep better, but it also helps adults sleep better, too, so we can all benefit from this remedy.
So grab your little one, go outside, enjoy the sunshine, and expect to sleep soundly tonight.
2. Give your child cherry juice
If your child has been taking melatonin supplements, then you’re going to love this next remedy.
Cherry juice is one of the only foods that contains traces of natural melatonin.
Instead of giving your child a melatonin gummy or powder supplement before bed, simply give your child a few ounces of 100% cherry juice before bedtime.
It won’t hurt your child to try this natural remedy, and if anything, your child will benefit from extra antioxidants!
If you think the juice is going to taste too tart for them, then simply mix it with some apple juice or orange juice.
I can’t 100% guarantee that this is going to help your child fall asleep faster like I can with sunlight.
However, if your child has been “depending” on melatonin gummies, then it’s worth a shot to replace it with a safe and natural dose of cherry juice.
3. Increase your child’s magnesium levels
Having the right amount of magnesium in our bodies is critical for a good night’s sleep.
The higher your magnesium levels are, the easier it is to settle down and sleep.
Unfortunately, it’s very common for adults and children to have lower than ideal magnesium levels.
Low levels of magnesium have been linked to restless leg syndrome.
The good news is that there are a few natural ways that you can ensure your child’s body (and yours!) has enough magnesium.
First, you can eat foods that are high in magnesium.
My friend, who is a holistic nutritionist, created a muffin recipe specifically for Little Z’s families that is PACKED with ingredients that are high in magnesium!
This granola muffin recipe is a great way to include ingredients that are naturally packed with magnesium into a food source for you and for your child.
Bake these delicious muffins by using our Granola Muffin Recipe HERE!
Next, you can take an epsom salt bath.
Our skin is the largest organ on our body and when we get into an epsom salt bath, our skin absorbs the epsom salt, producing higher overall magnesium levels in our body.
Your child does not need to take an epsom salt bath every single night.
I recommend just one epsom salt bath a week to increase your child’s magnesium levels!
A bath in general helps children to fall asleep, and that is why I incorporate bathtime into my Ideal Bedtime Toddler Routine HERE.
A bath is helpful for falling asleep because it helps to lower our internal body temperature, which in turn relaxes us and helps us to fall asleep more easily.
If your child is tossing and turning and struggling to fall asleep at night, consider giving them a relaxing, epsom salt bath once a week.
4. Use a Zenimal
The last and final “bonus” remedy I want to share with you is the Zenimal.
This is a product that we have personally been using with our daughters for over a year.
The Zenimal is a guided meditation device that is screen-free.
It’s truly a one-of-a-kind product.
There are different cards that you can insert into the Zenimal, and these cards are designed to “quiet a busy mind.”
For my oldest daughter, I’ve done the sun exposure, cherry juice, and epsom salts, but I’ve found that the Zenimal is the only remedy that truly helps her to to settle and quiet her mind successfully at bedtime.
I have an excellent podcast interview with the creator of the Zenimal, Anna, and I encourage you to listen to How to Help an Anxious Child Settle to Sleep (With Zenimal) HERE.
If you have a child who is 5 years of age or older who just can’t calm their racing thoughts at night, then the Zenimal might be the missing link they need to fall asleep peacefully.
>>> Use the code LITTLEZSLEEP at checkout to save 5% off your Zenimal device HERE.<<<
It can be common for toddlers to begin to take longer to fall asleep at night. If this begins to happen to your child, it’s important to first check their daily schedule and ensure that their schedule is age appropriate. If you are unsure of your child’s schedule, check out our Complete Schedule Guide HERE.
Once you know your child’s schedule is correct, consider implementing the natural remedies below to help your toddler fall asleep faster.
- Expose your child to the sun in the morning and the evening.
- Give your child a few ounces of cherry juice before bedtime routine.
- Increase your child’s magnesium levels with epsom salt baths and foods high in magnesium.
- Introduce a Zenimal for your child to use during their bedtime routine.
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