Toddler Sleep Solutions

As parents know all too well, young children are notorious for resisting sleep. Just the mention of bedtime can sometimes set off a toddler tantrum.

Help your little bundle of energy head to dreamland and get the rest he needs with these toddler sleep tips.

Create a quiet routine
A game of chase or dancing around to music may seem like a surefire way to tire out your toddler, but a quiet, soothing routine before bed is a better choice for sleep success. Try reading a story together or giving your child a bath right before bedtime. Practice makes perfect, and repeating your bedtime rituals every night will help signal to your toddler that it’s time to get ready for sleep.

Be consistent
To establish a good sleep pattern, try to put your toddler to bed at the same time every night. Your tot may resist going to bed (can you blame him for not wanting to miss out on the after-hours fun?), but remaining firm about the rules will help a fuss-free bedtime become the norm instead of the exception.

Give your toddler a “lovey”
Letting your toddler sleep with his favorite blanket, teddy bear, or toy will help comfort him, especially if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Let him choose his lovey himself, but make sure what he picks is safe -- avoid toys or stuffed animals with ribbons, buttons, or anything that could be considered a choking hazard.

Set up the bedroom for success
A room that’s quiet, dark, and set to a comfortable temperature will encourage your toddler to fall -- and stay -- asleep. Before you tuck your child in, check that he has everything he needs to get through the night. This will decrease the chance that he’ll call you back to his bedroom. If he does cry out for you, resist the urge to rush in immediately. Instead, wait 15 seconds before reentering the room. If he calls out multiple times, gradually increase the amount of time you wait to go in, giving him the chance to fall back asleep without your help.

Keep an eye on naptime
Most children this age need between 12 and 14 hours of sleep each day, which can be split up between nighttime sleeping and daytime naps. But snoozing too late in the day can cause your toddler to have difficulty dozing off in the evening. If this is the case, slowly inch back the time of day he naps (a drastic change can completely throw off his schedule). If he goes to day care, aim to keep it consistent with when he naps there.

Remember that consistency is a must for establishing a stress-free toddler bedtime routine. Of course, life can sometimes get in the way, but if it does, just aim to get back on track with your bedtime rituals the next evening.