For the new parents, toddler sleep training and their toddler’s sleep cycle can be much tiring for the little ones can be demanding, throw tantrums, and never sleep for long enough. Few parents might even cry out.
Are you on the verge of one of those new parents-burnouts or breakdowns? And that worries you?
Don’t, because you’re a great parent. It’s only that you’re new to this journey, and it can be challenging!
What should you do? First, take a deep breath. Then, consider toddler sleep training!
A toddler is an infant who is growing in the age group of 12-36 months. This is the age at which they learn how to walk and connect themselves with other people.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, recommended sleep timings, including naps for toddlers is 11-14 hours. For optimal health, sound sleep is essential. It increases their attention span and active learning.
Sleep problems are associated with negative, stubborn behavior, low performance, and obesity. So, it is important to address sleep routines to maintain the balance of life. Toddlers are cognitively more advance than infants, so; they can better adapt to new rules.
Children begin to learn etiquette and form habits at this age. That’s why you can start sleep training your toddle after their first birthday, if not before.
Maintaining the sleep pattern of your toddler can be difficult. However, toddler sleep training might help in developing a good sleep cycle.
Even if a routine is not set during the first year, it’s never too late to set a routine for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure to feed your toddler well before cuddling them to sleep, so they did not get up in the middle of the night because of hunger. Try to schedule your toddler’s sleep time with yours to free yourself from 24/7 mombieee. This is very important for your own health and life balance.
Given below are a few toddler sleep training methods found to be useful for babies aged 12-36 months.
SLEEP TRAINING METHODS
Here are some sleep training toddler methods
STAYING IN ROOM
It is essential to fix your infant’s routine in the early months of life. This will help in following a sleep pattern in toddlerhood.
The first sleep training method is staying in the room until you notice that your toddler is peacefully asleep. Gradually decrease your room stay for one week. Initially, sit closer to your toddler, then increase the distance each day.
Pick up your toddler only in case of being extra cranky and crying a lot.
Cuddle him, kiss him and make it clear to your toddler that you will leave the room if he comes out of his bed. Initially, it will be difficult but keep your determinations high and don’t break the rule. This gentle sleep training toddler method is pick up and put down method to reassure your presence in the room.
It is essential for your own good health to sleep, train your toddler, and encourage them to sleep in a sleep-training toddler bed.
One method is the fading method in which the toddler is left alone on bed and wait and watch until the baby is asleep. Watch after every 2-3 mins; if the toddler is continuously crying, only then re-enter the room to pat the toddler on the back.
Try this every day with increasing frequency to make a habit of your toddler. At the start, it won’t be easy but will get better with each passing day. Your toddler will gradually require less reassurance and become habitual to the new routine.
Keep a check on your toddler frequently; if they awake, caress them with love to sleep again. This requires patience, but don’t give up.
This fading method over toddler sleep training teaches them to sleep on their own and promote independent sleeping.
CRY IT OUT
This method is a bit difficult, as seeing your crying baby is quite disturbing. But this works for a stubborn toddler. In this, you do not enter the room and let them cry until some specified time.
Initially, they will scream at the top of their lungs if you do not accompany them, but it is necessary unless your baby accepts change. Then just reassure your toddler from far. Keep entering and sending love notes from the door, so the child feels safe that you are around them and haven’t left this planet yet.
Keep this interaction short and flying without touching your toddler. Withdraw this interaction over time and watch only without saying a single word. And you won’t believe what a relief it will be after the effort of just one week.
Just don’t lose your mind and have patience.
You might face harsh comments and tags of the heartless mother, but turn a deaf ear and schedule your toddlers to sleep as per your convenience. Focus on your best for the results of your choice.
After this entire struggle, you will end up in a peaceful sleep routine for yourself and your toddler.
CAMP IT OUT
When you switch your toddler to their room, you need some time to make them feel comfortable to fall asleep in their bed. In starting, spend a few nights in a room with them, sitting away from the bed. Keep checking after some specified intervals to make sure they are not up and cranky.
If they wake up in between, just make sure they self soothe themselves and sleep independently. You just have to reassure your presence from the door.
Set some sleep note like good night sleep right, or anything that you find attractive and repeat it. This helps build your toddler’s memory that this sleep note is only for sleeping, not coming out of bed.
Calming down and sleep training an anxious toddler require real patience.
During this time, if the toddler is learning to climb the crib, and there is a risk of falling from the crib, replacing it with a baby bed becomes mandatory.
At first, your toddler might not find it comfortable to sleep in their new bed, which can be overcome by replacing the crib with a bed initially in the same room as your toddler might not appreciate too much change at once. Surround your toddler with soft protective surroundings like pillow walls to make them feel safe.
In any toddler sleep training method, you will have to pay frequent visits on the first night to keep an eye on your toddler. Decrease this frequency on next night. On the third night, reduce it further.
Next night onwards, it will be easier for both of you to follow the same sleeping pattern daily with less frequent parental attention.
MAPPING OUT NIGHT ROUTINE
- Plan the bedtime routine of your toddle to avoid sleep hassle every night. Engage them in different activities before sleeping to drain their energies and keep them awake at odd timings.
- Healthy activities in the daytime help build strong learning capabilities. Sleep training naps should be kept to a minimum to promote peaceful sleep at night.
- Stop some sleep rituals of infancy like rocking while sleeping or singing or humming rhymes. This is necessary; otherwise, your child becomes so attached to these activities that they won’t sleep without them. So avoid such activities with your toddlers.
- Start sleep training your toddler when you are free and ready to invest 100% of your time in your toddler, at least for a week.
- The key to successful sleep training is to remain consistent. Do not discontinue your effort. Otherwise, you will be again at the starting point. In this way, you convey a message to your toddler that you will break the rule if he cries a lot.
- To ensure a better quality of sleep, consistent bed timing is mandatory.
Follow some rules before going to bed. Set boundaries in advance and enforce discipline to maintain healthy sleeping habits.
Your toddler will begin to learn these clearly defined boundaries and will start acting accordingly.
- Change their diaper. And start preparing them for potty training in the early months of toddlerhood
- Give a feeder and healthy snacks before sleeping so that you won’t wake up because of hunger.
- Encourage to brush before sleeping.
- Spend some time with them by reading a book and telling bedtime stories. Save this time for maximum learning with exciting stories.
- Maintain room temperature and turn off bright lights. Dim lights have a soothing and calming effect of stimulating sleep. Use a humidifier if necessary.
- Room temperature must be child-friendly if they remove their blanket and might not get cold.
- You can use illuminating roof stickers for distraction and creating sleep mode. Or use some dim lights to control brightness in the room. Light control is a clear cut indication of sleep time.
- Do not encourage any exciting activity at night time, like playing with toys or Lego or puzzles.
- Positive reinforcement is also imperative to build a sense of following the same pattern, the same timings daily.
- Remember to reward your child with anything to keep your toddler motivated for next night. This may include candy, cookie, or chocolate.
TODDLER SLEEP TRAINING TIPS
Monitor your toddler throughout the day and note when they are drowsy, when they are sleepy and when they are active. Note and record activity patterns. Try to keep them awake through the day.
Then plan a repeatable, reproducible, and realistic schedule so that your toddler’s biologic clock is set on specific timings.
Do not change too much of their routine from day one, like bed change, room change, all at once. Start with a minimum and gradually implement all routine activities for one week. Do not change the routine in between frequently. Follow the same pattern every day.
Comforting a crying baby varies from family to family; toddler adjustment according to a new routine may also vary accordingly. Frequent returns to silent returns and then no return method help transition from co-sleeping to independent sleeping.
It is also essential to keep in mind child safety in case the child wakes up at night. Use alarms and child safety locks. You need to remain alert initially for at least 15 days.
Wear them comfortable sleeping suits and make it a habit.
Shut the door. Create an environment for sleep like low lights and no noise.
Plan some reward as an appreciation of good behavior and following the routine.
Toddler tantrums are part of sleep training, so keeping them and yourself calm is a real task.
If you are still struggling with a crying baby who cannot sleep in your absence, and you are unable to sleep, train your toddler, try to trace the cause. It sounds robotic in starting, but consistency is vital. You will notice appreciable results after one week.
If no improvement occurs, do not push yourself and your toddler beyond the limit and seek help. Generally, it was noted that toddlers wake up sometimes at night. It is not worrisome and can be handled with proper management.
If toddlers sense that if they cry, you will break the rule and pick them up, this will significantly reduce the chance of sleep training. This may increase stubbornness on the second try.
So, when you decide to sleep train your toddler, you need to do it with great determination.
- Do you find difficulty in transition from crib to bed?
- Does your toddler take too much time to fall asleep?
- Does your toddler wake up too early with or without frequent crying sessions in between?
In case of an assertive answer to the above questions, reevaluate your plan. Another factor of considerable importance is mother-child daytime interaction and parenting style.
Compromised relationships in early life significantly impact the sleep pattern of your toddler.
Increasing your day time interaction and engaging them in attractive activities greatly reduces negative behavioral consequences in toddlers. Well, a napping baby also enables you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It is noted that toddlers change their routine easily if left unsupervised so remain consistent with your routine.
- Seek help from trained mommies at first.
- Divide your duties with your husband.
- Have some female support of immediate relatives for your help.
- Do not lose your nerves and remain consistent.
- Still, if you fail, then consult a pediatrician for underlying medical health and then seek a pediatric sleep consultant.
Another approach is to delay the sleep time of your toddler initially by one hour and then train them. Once you find it easy, then bring back time to your sleep schedule.
Also, do not let your toddler sleep in the late afternoon. Keep them engaged in appealing activities and introduce educational toys.
In the long run, sleep troubles affect the learning capabilities of a child. They remain inactive, less responsive, and down because of sleep deprivation.
Some experts also reported that in the transition to new sleep routine second and third night is found to be more difficult than the first night. But after the first week, there will be a considerable improvement in sleep routine.
Set rules and boundaries and remain firm on them.
Here’s a Pro-Hack Product for Exhausted Parents
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This bed frame exceeds and meets all applicable CPSC and ASTM requirements so parents can sleep easy knowing that their little one is comfortable and safe. It supports a safety rail on each side to ensure safety, even if you don’t place the bed against the wall. Besides that, you can expect a premium quality construction, and all the materials used are latex, BPA, lead, and phthalate-free.
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As compared to adults or even older children, toddlers have a different sleep cycle, which can be tiring and difficult for parents to manage. Toddler sleep training can help develop a sleeping pattern and make them independent in falling asleep.
You can try different methods to see which one works the best for your kid. It may take a bit longer than expected, but sleep training toddlers work. And don’t hesitate is asking for help if you think you need it!
Thank you for reading and I hope I was able to leave something for you. If you have any experience that would like to share or want to leave a comment or a question.
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