The only thing worse than a sleep deprived mama is a sleep deprived mama with a sleep deprived toddler. Take cranky plus stressful and turn it up about ten notches and that's what you get with that combo. Struggling with loss of sleep is a part of parenting, we all know that. I've adapted to being a blurry-eyed zombie mom that runs on grande super-charged coffee drinks at least once a week. But I need my child to be well-rested and on a solid sleep schedule or the wheels start coming off the track.
After surviving the ups and downs of newborn sleeping patterns and riding out the all-nighters that come with growth spurts the first year, we've finally settled into a sleep routine that works. But not without some struggles along the way.
So I want to share with you a few tips and tricks that made getting our little one to bed easier and faster. Like all parenting hacks, these may not work the very first night, or even the tenth one. But don't give up, sometimes finding the right routine for your child takes a little time and patience. Sleep is so important for a child's growth, and getting good sleep every night will make a big difference in daily behavior as well.
Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Sleep
- Be consistent. Once you've made the transition to sleeping in a big boy (or girl) bed, remain firm with the decision. Don't waiver back and forth and let your child sleep in your bed. Children need to feel safe and confident in what they can expect, and it's your job to establish the boundaries and habits that will provide that security.
2. Create a comfortable, cozy environment without distractions. Set-up a space that makes your child feel relaxed and ready for sleep. Install a night light that will give them enough light to not be afraid of the dark. Use pillows, blankets and stuffed animals that make him feel more secure. Play soft music or use sleep sounds to help him drift off to sleep. We love the Soundbub portable Bluetooth Speaker and Soother.
Create a playlist of calm music that will help your child relax and settle into bed. I have a playlist of lullabies and melodies saved to my phone that we play over our SoundBub every night.
SoundBub comes pre-loaded with two white noise tracks that you can activate with one touch of its “bellybutton”. More white noise tracks and other soothing content can be accessed within the VoiceShare app.
The SoundBub even has a special hide-away handle that makes it portable so you can hook it onto a stroller or car seat. Brady loves to listen to his favorite songs on our “Benji the Bear” SoundBub when we go for walks.
SoundBub is compatible with WavHello’s VoiceShare app, where loved ones can record voice messages, lullabies, or mix/edit their own creations karaoke style. It’s easy to play this special content through SoundBub. This is perfect for family living far away or even parents who are deployed who want to send messages while they are away!
3. Establish a calming nightly routine and stay consistent. What you do before bed will make a difference in how easily and quickly your child settles in for a good night's sleep. Turn off the screentime at least two hours prior to bedtime. Dim the lights and let them know it's almost time to get ready for bed ahead of time. Follow the same routine every night, from brushing teeth and putting on pajamas to reading a story.
4. Do not let your child fall asleep beside you. This is a tough one, but it's incredibly essential to establishing a strong sleep routine that will allow your child to fall asleep confidently and independently, as well as quickly over time. It may take some time, but you will reap the rewards of gaining more time for yourself and ending the agony of bedtime fights.
“But I like to read with my child before bed.”
I LOVE reading stories with my son, it's one of my favorite parts of our day. We read stories before bed, but I do not read to him as he falls asleep. Reading is a part of our routine, following pajama time and followed by talks about our day and the day ahead. However, I make it very clear that it's time to sleep and I do not lie beside him as he falls asleep. In the beginning, you will need to stay in the room and sit somewhere where you can quietly leave as he is dozing off without making any sounds. Try placing a chair right outside the door, or sitting on the floor. That way your child can see you and feel safe. Gradually move out of the room. If he or she wakes up, softly tell them you are in the hallway but do not go in. If he gets out of bed, put him back in bed and remind him that you are only a few steps away.
Establishing a great sleep routine will benefit you and your child in so many ways. Getting good sleep is important for their well-being and development, and getting more time for yourself will make you a better mama. Create habits now that will make it easier for everyone to feel more rested, have struggle-free nights and less stressful mornings. Good luck!
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.