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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Brindley

Is it too Late to Sleep Train my Toddler? Tips To Help You Get Your Toddler Sleep Through The Night


Toddler with checkered clothing Sleeping on a bed

If you're like most parents, getting your toddler to sleep through the night can seem like a daunting task. However, there are some things you can do to help them get the sleep that they need.


This blog post discusses tips to help ensure your toddler is sleeping well. So, if you're frustrated because your little one isn't sleeping through the night, read on for my helpful advice!



What Are Common Toddler Sleeping Challenges?



There are several common sleeping challenges that toddlers face.


  • One of the most common toddler sleep struggles is simply staying in bed. Toddlers are active, curious, and test boundaries. They may only want to stay in one place for a short time, and it is a normal instinct for them to go against the rules you have put into place. As a result, they may try to get out of bed throughout the night.


  • Another common challenge is falling asleep. Many toddlers spend the day in daycare or preschool, where they must nap for two hours a day, often from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. Children age two to three need six to seven hours of awake time in between sleep. A nap that ends at 3:00 pm makes an early bedtime almost impossible.


  • Be a "Sleep observer." Often as parents, when we are "In it," we can't quite see the forest through the trees. You may feel so frustrated that your child is not falling asleep at 7:30 pm that you can't see that the nap is impacting a decent bedtime. Be an observer for a couple of days. If you notice that your child has napped until 3:00 pm and cannot fall asleep until 9:30 pm, it may be that bedtime needs to be adjusted.


  • Additionally, toddlers may wake up frequently during the night. Frequent night wakings can often happen if you have gotten stuck in a habit where your child needs you to lay with them until they fall asleep. It makes sense that your toddler would wake up or get up through the night if you are not there during a waking. Remember that HOW your child falls asleep is how they will need to get back to sleep. Teaching independent sleep will help them feel empowered and confident that they can get back to sleep.


Fortunately, there are a number of things that parents can do to help their toddlers get a good night's sleep.


By establishing a bedtime routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and ensuring wake windows are in order, parents can encourage their toddlers to sleep through the night.



Can I Sleep Train, My Toddler, In A Crib?



It's perfectly normal for parents to want to sleep train their toddler, even if their toddler still sleeps in a crib. Perhaps your toddler was a great crib sleeper, but you got derailed from travel or sickness.


After all, who doesn't want their child to have a good night's sleep? The answer to this question depends on a few factors.


First, it is important to consider your child's age, physical ability, and determination. Can your kid climb out of their crib? A toddler who can climb out of their crib cannot be sleep trained in their crib.


Climbing or flinging themselves out of the crib is dangerous, and they must graduate to a twin or a full-sized bed.


Fully remove the crib from the room if you switch to a big girl or boy bed. It can make kids feel uneasy about having their crib and a new bed in their room.


Kids often gravitate to familiar things and may feel unsure about a new bed. The most important thing is to stick to your plan and to be consistent in your approach.



Is It Too Late To Sleep Train, My Toddler, If They Are Sleeping In A Bed?



It is always possible to start sleep training! You can absolutely teach your child to sleep if they are already sleeping in a toddler or regular bed. However, you may need to be prepared for a longer and more complicated process.


Toddlers are often more resistant to change than younger babies and may be more likely to test boundaries. As a result, it is essential to be patient and consistent when sleep training a toddler.


Before you begin, you will need an airtight plan of action to teach your toddler their sleep routine, new big bed rules, and what you expect regarding sleep and staying in bed. Rules are not a bad thing!


Children feel safe when there are rules and a solid and consistent routine. Your toddler deserves to know what is expected; this way, they can flourish within your new sleep boundaries.



Should I Let My Toddler Watch An IPad In Their Bed Before They Go To Sleep?



It's no secret that screens can be a big part of our lives. From computers at work to smartphones on the go, it's easy to be glued to a screen for hours. But what about when it's time for bed?


Is it okay to let your toddler watch an iPad in their bed before they go to sleep? If you allow screens just once, you make watching screens before bed a possibility. There are a few things to consider before you allow that to happen even one time.


  • First, the bright light from the screen can interfere with the body's natural production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep.


  • Second, the stimulating content of many apps and games can make it difficult for young minds to relax and drift off to sleep.


  • Too much screen time can lead to increased levels of anxiety and isolation.


  • Turning off the show or game can lead to an unwanted battle of the "One more show" or the "Two more minutes" struggle.


So while there's no need to ban screens entirely, it's important to use them in moderation and make sure they're not part of the bedtime routine. If you want to do a show or screen time, try before dinner or while cooking and preparing dinner for the family.



What Sleep Training Method Should I Use To Get My Toddler To Sleep Through The Night?



Like most parents, you've probably spent many sleepless nights trying to get your toddler to fall asleep. And if you're looking for a way to help your child sleep through the night, you're not alone. Several different sleep training methods are available, and it can be tricky to know which one is right for your family.


There is no single "right" way to sleep-train your child, and what works for one family may not work for another. Ultimately, the best sleep training method is the one that works best for you and your child.


However, sleep training can be challenging because you are setting boundaries around sleep. Limit setting is a challenge, whether during the day or night. It is often more difficult at night because parents are tired too!


If you need help figuring out where to start, talk to your pediatrician and call Little Sleepers for guidance and a customized sleep action plan.



How Much Sleep Does My Toddler Need?



Most toddlers need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, which includes naps. The amount of sleep a toddler needs depends on many factors, including age, health, activity level, and whether she is going through any significant developmental changes.


It is important to make sure that your toddler's sleeping environment is conducive to good sleep. The room should be dark, quiet, and cool, and no electronics or other distractions should be present. A comfortable mattress and pillow are also important.


You can do many things to help encourage good sleep habits in your toddler. Creating a bedtime routine is one of the most important things you can do.


A good bedtime routine includes taking a bath, reading books together, saying a prayer, or listening to calming music. Establishing a regular bedtime and sticking to it will also help ensure your toddler gets the sleep she needs.


Conclusion


The number one factor for success in sleep training is staying consistent. Please do not change your action plan when it gets tricky; stick to it. It may take time.


If you have a gut feeling your plan may not be the best plan, or if you and your partner are at odds about the plan, it is a good idea to ask for help.


Although sleep training a toddler can be difficult, it is worth the effort. The benefits of getting your toddler sleeping through the night outweigh any challenges you may face along the way.


If you need more help, please don't hesitate to reach out to me for assistance.


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