How to Help Your Toddler Sleep Through the Night
At the Texas Children’s Academy, we are well-acquainted with the conundrum of getting a toddler to sleep. Once you get them to sleep, helping them stay that way the whole night can be very difficult.
Studies show that young toddlers wake often during the night – some as many as six times. Therefore, the question you need to ask yourself is not why your child wakes up, but why he can’t go back to sleep.
In order to understand why your child cannot go back to sleep, put yourself in his shoes late at night. What circumstances is your child accustomed to when going to sleep? Are you there? Are you reading a book? Is there a light on? Is there music playing? If you have gotten your child used to needing something from you in order to fall asleep, he’s going to need it in the middle of the night.
You need to make sure your child’s room looks the same at bedtime as it does in the wee hours. Use props if you have to. For example, a child that startles awake at any sound can be soothed by a running fan. Develop a routine that has you out of the room before he falls asleep.
If you have to take your child back to bed or visit him, develop a simple checking routine. Tell him everything is okay, but don’t cuddle, play, or stay too long. The point is to make him think it is not worth his while to call for you.
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