Toddlers are tricky – no doubt about it!
They may be little, but often their personalities pack a big punch. They can infuriate us one minute and leave us laughing and thinking how lucky they are, that they are so damn cute the next!
When it comes to sleep – toddlers can be a little bit sneaky and clever. They are infamous for exerting their independence and creating every stalling tactic you can think of, as to why now is not the right time to go to sleep!
My 5 Toddler Sleep Must Knows… What are yours?
Let me know in the comments.
- Don’t move your toddler into a big bed too soon – I suggest somewhere around 3 years of age is ideal. Toddlers do not have a lot of impulse control and as much as they know they are not meant to get out of bed – they just can’t help it! That new found freedom is just too exciting and you are now within easy reach.
- Don’t enter into a negotiating battle with your 2-year-old – it is never going to be productive! Preempt their desire to negotiate and have everything prepared before you put them to bed. Have a nice wind down time before nap time and overnight sleep and by keeping this consistent your child will understand the routine, know what is coming and what is expected of them.
- Toddlers have very little control over their world, as we are constantly setting the rules and boundaries for them. When it comes to sleep, we often find them trying to push for some control – hence the “I need a drink”, “I want another cuddle…” demands that they are so famous for! Giving them some control during the day with basic things that won’t have an impact on what you want them to do, can often help with this e.g. Try limited choices. Would you like to wear the blue or red t-shirt today? Would you like some banana or a pear for morning tea? Allow them to choose 2 stories before bed time and let them decide if we should read them on the chair or on the floor… By giving them a little control – they will be more inclined to follow your rules when you set them around sleep.
- Offer lots of positive reinforcement – toddlers thrive on praise so be sure to give it to them when it’s due. Rather than focus on what they didn’t do quite right – let them know what you are super proud of. If they went to bed without a fuss, put their PJ’s on nicely, brushed their teeth well, stayed in their bed the whole night – let them know and be super animated about it – they will lap it up and this will encourage them to repeat the behaviour.
- If you are having difficulty with your toddlers sleep and your toddler is not settling easily for the night, waking in the middle or the night or early for the day – you may need to take a look at their routine and address this and/or pop a settling technique in place. Toddlers have a great deal of stamina and so when changing things or implementing a new settling strategy at 3am up remember to be patient, super consistent and limit your interactions, toddlers thrive on attention!
Miriam is our Melbourne based certified infant and child sleep consultant. She is a mother and understands how lack of sleep can affect the entire family. Miriam is available for home and phone consults if you live outside of Melbourne.
Call Miriam on 0416 248 778 for a free no obligation chat about your toddler or babies sleep.
Praise for Miriam:
“After 3 nights of routine that Miriam gave us, we were back to sleeping through the night. We had a phone meeting with Miriam and she set the scene. She was very approachable and so helpful and helped us every step of the way. I highly recommend Miriam and have to thank her for some great non-interrupted sleeps over the last couple of weeks.” ~ Kirsty
“I am beyond thrilled and pleased to have contacted baby sleep consultants and use their incredible service. It has been a lifesaver. Miriam is very patient, understanding and very knowledgeable when it comes to the key to baby sleep consistency and I couldn’t thank her enough for helping us regain a peaceful nights sleep as well as for our daughter. I can’t thank her and the service enough. I truly was sceptical but desperate to try anything after seeing real results I can’t put a price on what this has done for us as a family. To any sleep deprived parents who have been through everything without avail, you will not be dissapointed. Thank you so much. ” ~ Aleksandra