Sleep Training for Toddlers | More4Momz
Sleep Training for Toddlers

If you are one of those parents whose toddler did not read the “How to sleep manual” and you are more tired than you thought humanly possible, you are not alone. There is a reason sleep deprivation was used as torture, it is one of the hardest things parents have to deal with. When you are tired, your ability to cope with stress is decreased and your immune system suffers. Getting your toddler to sleep better helps the whole family. Sleep Training for toddlers is possible with a bit of patience and perseverance.

Before the tips, here are 2 things that are important to remember.

It is not your fault, some kids sleep well and some don’t. It is as simple as that. Children from the same family with the same routine or techniques still do not sleep the same. Start by taking the blame off yourself and your child and it becomes easier to find a solution.

Comparison is the thief of joy

Theodore Roosevelt

All kids are different, do not be discouraged by the parents who tell you how well their kids slept. Each child is an individual and will sleep differently.

Sleep training for toddlers: 7 tips

Read and try many ideas

There is no one method that will work for all toddlers so research as many as you can. Read books, Google for ideas and speak to other parents. Be willing to try various solutions, remember there is not just one single method.
Stay congruent to yourself and your child

While you should be willing to try different methods, be sensitive to your own internal feelings on something. If you do not feel comfortable then the chances are that your toddler will pick up on that.

Establish an easy to follow routine
Work out an easy to follow winding down routine to do nightly with your toddler that signals to them that it’s time to calm down and that bedtime follows soon. Think about the 2 hours before bed as the preparation stage.
TV should be off, screen time keeps the brain alert and makes it harder for children to sleep.  A routine during this time could include warm bath, massage, brushing teeth, story time and then lying down with a favourite toy and dimming the lights.

Helping them to go back to sleep

Everyone wakes partially during the night as we move through sleep cycles, we are just normally unaware of it. When a toddler who is used to a dummy, bottle, breast or other method of falling asleep, wakes up during the night, they seek this familiar method of falling asleep.
Decrease the amount they drink before bed, use smaller bottles, and then gradually mix more water and less milk. Finally put less in the bottle or move to a drink of water from a cup before bed. They need to learn to fall asleep without a bottle or aid.
Health considerations

I discovered my daughter was gluten intolerant when she was 9, I am sure that it was a big part of why she struggled to sleep. I don’t think there was any way I could have known at the time, but sometimes there are health issues that might be affecting a child’s ability to sleep.
A trip to the doctor to rule out health issues and allergies might be helpful. Remember that a child who is unwell, going through a growth spurt or developmental changes is likely to have changes in their sleep pattern.
It takes time

Sleep training for toddlers takes time. It might take weeks or even months for a child to settle into a good sleep pattern. Just continue to be consistent. Wean them off the bottle or breast slowly, keep up the quiet night-time routine and try not to get frustrated.
Ask for help

Only a parent of a child who does not sleep will know the sheer desperation you feel. Reach out, ask for help, and look after yourself. If you feel like hurting yourself or your child, seek help. It is okay to feel this way.
Sleeplessness changes your ability to think rationally, don’t get trapped feeling alone and isolated.

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