People are often SHOCKED to hear that many of my clients reach out for help because their toddlers are STILL not sleeping through the night. Fixing toddler sleep issues is no easy feat, that’s for sure! Unfortunately, bedtime battles and frequent, extended nightwakings are regular occurrences in many households with toddlers and preschoolers. Tons of parents reach out to me wanting to know how to get a toddler to sleep. The good news is that this is fixable! Sleep training a toddler IS possible!
A mother reached out for help in the My Sleeping Baby Facebook Community group about her toddler and preschooler’s sleep issues. Her 20 month-old wakes multiple times a night and needs to be rocked back to sleep. He also wakes up around 5:00am everyday for a snack. On top of that, both her kids struggle to fall asleep and will ONLY allow their father to put them to sleep.
Here was what I suggested to her:
- Teach your toddler how to fall back to sleep on his own throughout the night. In order for a baby or toddler to sleep through the night, it’s essential that your little one learn how to fall asleep on his own, as well as how to fall BACK to sleep on his own. If a baby or toddler is used to getting help falling back asleep, this habit could continue. Teaching your little one to resettle on his own is crucial if you want to eliminate all these nightwakings. OH and by the way, this advice applies equally to that ugly 5:00am waking!
- Eliminate that 5:00am snack. A healthy 20 month-old toddler doesn’t need calories at nighttime anymore.
- Don’t be afraid to wake up your older child while sleep training your younger one. Don’t get me wrong, dealing with two kids in the middle of the night is NOT a party I want to be invited to. However, proper sleep training with a proper sleep plan doesn’t take forever. Trust me! It’s a short-term process that typically HAS to get worse in order to get better. Just keep repeating this mantra!
- Don’t allow your kids to decide which parent puts them to sleep at bedtime. This is not a decision they are in any position to be making. I’m all about empowering kids during their bedtime routine as much as possible. So feel free to let them decide which story to read, which bedtime song to sing, which cup to drink from, and which toothbrush they want to use. However, THIS is not something they get to decide.
If you’re having trouble getting your toddler to sleep, definitely watch this full video here!