The most important thing to remember when trying to find a solution to getting your toddler to sleep is to work out the best one for you. Don’t think that there is one right answer when it comes to toddler sleep issues. Not all methods work with all children. It may take some time to find out what works for you, and it may not necessarily be what your friends or family agree with, but remember that it is your child and you ultimately know what is best.
If your child goes to bed well but wakes often through the night there may be several reasons for this. One could be hunger or thirst. They are still young and it is a long time to go without food or drink so you might want to give them something to eat or drink before bed to try to help. Also give them a beaker of water that doesn’t leak that they can have in bed with them so that they can help themselves to a drink and not necessarily have to fully wake up for it. They may wake because they want a cuddle. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is perfectly natural for your child to want to be near their parents. Some parents may find the best solution for them is to let the toddler come in their bed and sleep once they have woken up but this may not be the best idea as it can create a habit and the child will want to sleep in the parents bed every night. If you do decide this is the option for you though, once they get old enough to understand that you want them to stay in their bed, and that they are safe where they are, you can return them and be confident that they will be able to stay there and feel secure.
If you have difficulty in getting your child to sleep due to toddler sleep issues, you should as soon as possible establish a bedtime routine. It doesn’t matter what the routine is, but just a regular set of events that makes them realise that bedtime is coming up. This could include a bath, a drink of hot milk, brushing their teeth, a story, some songs or even watching a particular TV programme. The routine needn’t be too rigid as if you need to change it, that can be difficult, but make sure that there are a series of events that lead up to their bedtime. Once they are in bed you may need to sit with them until they go to sleep so that they feel safe and secure that you are there. Try to keep the room dark and quiet and don’t talk to them. If they try to get out of bed just gently put them back, and if they want a cuddle let them have one. As they get more used to going to bed you will be able to just sit on the side of the bed with no cuddles and gradually sit further and further away, or be in the next door room, until they get used to the idea that they are safe in their bed.
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