Ah, toddlers! Aren't they great?! Just when you think you have this baby sleep thing sorted, they go and turn into toddlers and the whole thing is turned upside down. And that's no exaggeration! So how can we make toddlers and sleep a little easier in general? Well there are no magic cures, but these tips might help a little...
From the week you bring baby home you have constant questions about their health and habits. One of the main questions will be whether or not your child is sleeping through the night yet.If you are entering toddlerhood and still haven’t achieved the dream of your full eight hours you may find it difficult to believe that you’ll get it. The fact is a lot of toddlers don’t sleep through and we need to stop and question the myths around toddler sleep. Add to that the fact that we ALL wake at night, even adults, and the difference is that some of us can get back to sleep by ourselves and some of us can't. Its up to us to help our toddlers learn good sleep habits, but that all comes with time. Don't sweat it.
Desperate for a lay in in the morning? Thinking that later to bed means later to rise? All you will end up with is a cranky overtired toddler. Brace yourself for a bedtime meltdown. The best thing you can do is keep on with that routine.
Let the toddler decide?
Theres no harm in also going toddler led. Follow their cues and their patterns to establish their routines. Naps around toddler age drop from 2 to 1 and they may have one nap overlapping the lunchtime routine. This is normal and what you may not know is during periods of regression they will go back to 2. Don’t panic and try to keep them awake. It is important that your child gets their sleep quota.
To cry it out or not?
You don’t have to cry it out. An older child is often louder and any attempt at sleep training this way can really do more harm than good. Try to find a gentle routine and wind them down an hour beforehand, don’t rely on the CBeebies bedtime hour as a cue because as calm as it seems the buzzing of technology is a massive distraction. Try starting the bedtime hour early and easing it backwards until you both get to a time than is comfortable for you.
Read the sleep cues
As your child gets older their cues will get easier to read. It’s worth investing the time now to establish a routine that is calm for you and them. No one likes to fall asleep on a fall out after all. And above all? Remember that this phase in your life won't last forever. It just feels like it, thats all.