Does your toddler sleep through the night in his own bed? Probably not since you are reading this page.
Nothing is more frustrating than when your toddler gets out of bed constantly or refuses to go to sleep or doesn’t want to sleep in his own bed.
For toddlers, getting enough sleep is very important.
How much sleep does a toddler need?
- Most toddlers require at least 12 hours of sleep a day while some need as much as 16 hours. Each little one is different. This sleep may be all at bedtime but for other children it may not be. Sleeptime includes nap time as well.
- If your child isn’t sleepy at bedtime and still naps try taking away the naps. Each child has his or her own internal clock. If he isn’t sleepy at bedtime that could be because he is internally wired to be more of a night owl. By taking away naps it can allow your child to rest more in line with his natural sleep rhythm.
A Bedtime Routine is Your Best FriendHaving a routine for your toddler is absolutely critical to getting your child to go to sleep.
By establishing a routine they will know what is expected and when and their bodies will get used to them falling asleep at certain times after the routine is followed.
Do the same thing every night. Don’t change it up, don’t skip a step, and don’t get distracted during this time. This is your toddler’s time and distractions can make him anxious or throw him out of his routine and lead to him being fussy.
An example of a routine:
Take a bath, put on pajamas, brush his teeth, go potty, say prayers, read a story in dim light, parent leaves the room, child goes to sleep.
Obviously you don’t have to follow this routine but it gives you an idea of a good routine. The key is to do this routine each and every night until it becomes automatic and second nature to both you and your child.
A couple of suggestions:
Eliminate the opportunity for him to prolong the routine. For example, put a cup of water next to his bed so that if he gets thirsty he can drink it and won’t use “I’m thirsty” as a reason to get up.
Another great way for kids to prolong the time before they have to go to sleep is at story time. It’s good to read a certain number of stories each night. For example, three is a good number.
He can pick one, you can pick one and then the last one can be a book that is specifically to get him ready for bed that is read every night. A good book for this is It’s Time to Sleep by Kiplyn Garrett. It lets the child know that everyone sleeps, it’s time to close his eyes, stay in bed and go to sleep. It has soothing rhymes and is fairly short which makes it a perfect nightly bedtime book.
This way the child knows when this book is read that it is the last book of the night and it eliminates the whining or bargaining for ‘just one more book.’
The key with establishing a routine is to make sure that you follow it exactly every single night. The first week or two can be difficult as the routine gets established but be firm and follow it. Your child will get in the habit of going to sleep which will make everyone happier.