Welcome to In the Words of a Non-Parent! The part of the blog where I, a non-parent, give parenting advice to parents. Today we explore what happens when your kid just won't go to sleep. It's frustrating, right?
So you've put your toddler down for his or her afternoon nap and the kid just won't sleep. What are mommy and daddy to do in that situation?
The first thing you should do is determine what sort of attitude your not sleeping child has. Is he or she in a good mood or bad mood? Is the kid displaying symptoms of illness or pain? These signs are important to look for when trying to figure out why your child refuses to nap.
If your toddler is upset, this is a whole new can of worms. An upset child without an adequate vocabulary is an enigma in and of him or herself. Older kids and adults can (usually) verbalize properly when they aren't feeling well. They can (usually) explain what's wrong. Toddlers really can't do that. Their words are pretty limited. If you're lucky, you may get an "OW!" with an index finger pointing to what hurts. This might be a sign of a child prodigy, depending on the age. Enroll that kid in the expensive preschool across town.
One problem that young children often have is mouth pain. According to statistics, children grow teeth between birth and roughly 24 years of age. Have you discovered that your child is teething? Good. Now you just need to treat the problem. My recommendation: Whiskey. Did you just picture yourself pouring booze into a sippy cup to give your child? I'm sure that's a hilarious image, but don't do that. I've heard of parents who will dip a finger in whiskey and rub it on their toddler's gums to help numb the pain. This is one of those home remedies that you may want to consult your pediatrician about.
That takes care of the mouth pain. But what if they're sick? There's a cough or a sneeze that keeps them from resting. Two words: Ny. Quil. Does the trick every time.
"But Single Guy," you ask, "what if my baby isn't upset?" That is a different story. You've got a toddler that's lying down but is laughing or singing or talking to the ceiling fan in that gibberish language that only your child and the ceiling fan can comprehend.
First of all, congratulations! You have a happy child. Enjoy it while you can. Help them to stay that way. Because sooner or later, that child will go into the world and the world will do everything it can to crush that happy spirit. In the meantime, even a happy child needs to sleep. Two words: Ny. Quil. Does the trick every time.