If you want to know How to Get A Toddler To Sleep And Stay In Their Own Bed then you have come to the right place!
The move from a crib to a toddler or “big kid” bed is huge. It’s a day of independence for both parent and child.
Why is it so life-changing?
Because now, your little one is free to come and go from their bed as they choose.
No more standing at the railing and hollering for mom or dad to come get them.
They can get out all by themselves.
This of course can be both a good thing and very bad thing.
It presents parents with a new challenge.
Now that your little one can get out of bed on their own, there is a chance that your toddler may just do that – get out of bed at the most very wrong time.
If your child is particularly independent or stubborn, they may feel the temptation to test the waters. If so you’re in for a fun time!
Here’s how to help your toddler sleep, and stay, in his or her own bed.
1 -Make it a big deal.
Sleeping in their own bed means your toddler is growing up.
Tell them that.
Help your toddler feel the total pride that comes associated with this big step.
And then tell them the rules and responsibility that comes with this step.
What do you expect from them?
For example, can they get out of bed before six in the morning?
How will they know when they can get out of bed?
What about going to the bathroom?
Clearly explain the rules so your child knows what to expect.
2-Create a routine.
Bedtime routines work well for adults and children.
They help us fall to sleep and stay asleep.
They also help our minds and bodies know what to expect.
By creating a bedtime routine that includes a potty or toilet stop, if they are toilet trained, you’re helping to ensure your child sleeps well and stays in bed.
3 – Don’t get in the bed with them.
Big, big novice mistake!
Like a seriously big one and I should know as my daughter went straight into a queen size bed before the age of age to make room for her coming baby brother.
A Queen-sized bed meant there is room for EVERYONE which of course changed my perfect sleeper into a demanding princess nightmare for a few days until I set the new rules in stone.
If you get into bed with your toddler, you are setting a precedent which blinks in bright flashing lights that you are willing to sleep with them.
Unless you want to do this every night all night long, don’t get into bed with them.
4 – Stick to your guns.
This is incredibly important.
If bedtime is seven thirty o’clock and your daughter pokes her head out at nine o’clock, under no circumstance should you let her come downstairs and watch television with you “just for fun” or because “she doesn’t feel like sleeping”.
Usher her back to her bed.
When she pokes her head out at nine thirty, repeat the procedure.
Again and again.
For most children, this need to usher them back to bed several times a night only happens for a few nights – as long as you’re consistent each and every time.
Don’t have any emotional reaction to their behavior, even though you may be exhausted, frustrated and angry.
Simply escort them back to bed.
Some children are a bit more of a challenge and you may have to repeat this for weeks until they get the picture – until they realize that mom or dad isn’t going to bend on this rule:
Get in bed, stay in bed, I love you, goodnight.
They will get it eventually – toddlers are a lot smarter than you may sometimes give them credit for.
Here’s the thing: Children are naturally going to test the limits.
This is particularly true when they receive a new freedom.
Establish rules, explain them clearly and then stick to them.
Your beautiful child will be sleeping in, and staying in, their own bed in no time.
While we are on the topic of sleep, how do I know if my toddler is getting enough sleep?
We all know that sleep is an important part of a human being’s life.
It is the time when our bodies rest and regenerate.
Scientists may don’t know exactly what goes on in our body when we sleep but they do know that without sleep our cognitive functions and physical wellbeing suffer.
For toddlers, sleep is especially critical to their development and growth.
Here are some ways to know if your toddler is getting enough sleep.
1-The first thing you can do is look at the clock.
Doctors recommend twelve to fourteen hours of sleep for toddlers.
Please note that they may not get that all in one sleep.
Rather they may combine naps and night-time sleep to get their fourteen hours.
For example, they may have ten hours of sleep at night and two naps during the day, each two hours long.
Does your toddler get that much sleep and seems to be functioning well with that amount?
If so, great!
2 – The second thing to look at is your child’s behavior when they wake in the morning.
Do they seem tired or are they wide awake and ready for their day?
Do they wake from their naps still groggy or cranky?
Are they aggressive and upset during the day?
All of these behaviors are indicators that they’re not getting enough sleep.
Track your child’s sleep to see:
-How long they sleep
-When they exhibit sleepy behavior and
-How they wake from naps and night-time sleep.
Look for patterns in their behavior.
3 – More tell-tale signs
Does your child fall asleep in the middle of the day?
Are they exhausted and miserable long before their naptime?
If this is the case, then your child is probably not getting enough sleep.
So What’s the Solution?
Each child needs their own amount of sleep, and the recommended twelve to fourteen hours is only an estimate.
Some children need more and some children may need less.
Your cue is their behavior.
If your child is struggling to get enough sleep, consider varying their naps.
Perhaps three shorter naps would work better than two.
Perhaps putting them to bed earlier will help them get the sleep they need.
If you’re going to try putting your toddler to bed earlier, you’ll have better success increasing it by ten minute increments.
For example, if they normally go to bed at 8 pm, put them to bed at 7:50 pm for a few nights in a row and then go back ten more minutes to 7:40 pm.
Repeat until they’re going to bed at seven o’clock each night and waking at the same time each morning.
Once again, make sure to establish a routine for bed and nap times so your child knows what’s expected.
Making sure your toddler is getting enough sleep requires attention, planning and patience.
But it is well worth it if you can get them to both sleep AND stay in their bed!