10 Tips Parents Use To Get Their Toddlers To Sleep
So, if you are asking questions such as "Why is my toddler not sleeping through the night? or "Why does it take 2 hours for my toddler to drop off to sleep?" read on for 10 techniques other parents have used successfully to get their little one to sleep.
Think About Bedtime From The Time They Wake Up
Wear Them Out Throughout The Day
Don't let your toddler nap too late as then they will not feel sleepy at bedtime.
As a general rule toddlers of a 12 months to 2 years require 1 to 2 naps totalling 2 to 3 hours. A 2 year old requires at least 1 nap of about 1 to 2 hours.
Some 3 year olds may even need up to an hour's nap. However, make sure your toddler doesn't get more sleep than he/she needs in the daytime. When I was having sleep problems with my 2 year old, I found that cutting down his daily nap to 1 hour (I wake him up at this point) means that he drops off to sleep much more quickly at night.
A Bedtime Routine
- Start with some quiet play or a bath.
- Get them in their pajamas
- Small snack or drink of milk (could be given before the bath if you prefer). This is good to make sure they're not walking due to hunger/thirst in the night.
- Into to read lots of stories and books.
- Lie down to sleep
But my toddler still won't go to sleep what do I do?
Elastic Band Method
Cry and Check Method
Get Them Used To Being In Their Bedroom on Their Own
One method to help combat this problem make sure that he/she has time on their own in the room in the day. Let them play in their cot/ on their bed with toys and be comfortable on their own. Leave them for increasing amounts of time. You can keep an eye (so you can see them but they can't see you) with the door open if needed.
At bedtime start leaving them on their own for increasing periods of time. Do the bedtime routine and then say I'm just going to get a glass of water (I'll come and check on you in a few minutes). By increasing the time, you'll help increase their confidence of being on their own and asleep. I do this with my son I tell him, I've just go to tidy up and then I'll come in and check on you. The majority of times he falls asleep without me coming in and checking on him once. Sometimes it helps that they can hear you pottering around - they know you're there if needed. However, I can imagine other toddlers may get disturbed by this - it will depend on the child.
If they shout for you to come up, try responding. Tell them what you're doing and that you'll be in to check on them for a minute. If they get up, put them back to bed straightaway. Leave them again but make it a very short amount of time and again increase the time.
Make Sure Your Toddler Is Comfortable
Is the room dark enough? Some rooms let in lots of light from streetlamps or daylight. If your toddler is going to sleep in a light room it may be worth investigating blackout blinds to see if they help.
Is the room quiet enough? Again outside noise may distract and wake up dozing toddlers as they are nodding off to sleep. Try and soundproof the room as much as possible. The environment if very important when putting a toddler to sleep.
Tips for If Your Toddler is Waking During The Night
- Put your child back in bed /see them in their bed. Comfort them, touch them but don't speak or make eye contact. Just comfort them until they go back to sleep or are settled enough for you too leave.
- If you don't mind them sleeping in with you, settle them in your room. A good tip is to get an air bed/mattress for them which can be put on the floor in your room for them to sleep on. This means that they won't be kicking you in the head in the middle of the night!
- If you would prefer they settle themselves back to sleep, make sure they can learn to settle themselves to sleep at the beginning of the night when they first go to bed. Then, they are more likely to settle themselves if they wake up in the middle of the night.