The bedtime routine is a delicate dance of lullabies, bedtime stories, and countless sips of water. However, if your toddler’s nighttime adventures often lead to a game of musical beds, you’re not alone. Helping toddlers stay in their own bed can feel like an elusive goal, but fear not – with the right tips and tricks, you can create a bedtime routine that ensures peaceful nights for both you and your little one. Jessica from My Dreamy Sleeper is here sharing her best advice on all of this and more! Keep on reading to see what she has to say.
What are some things you can do or tell your toddler during the day to help them stay in bed at night?
Jessica of My Dreamy Sleeper: When talking about sleep during the day, always try to stay positive. Model for your child what being a good sleeper looks like and have them practice too. We want to see them laying down, maybe snuggling a lovey, or quietly talking to themselves. What we don’t want to see is standing and getting out of bed. Show them examples of both.
Is there anything you can do with your toddler as you’re putting them to bed at night to help them stay in bed during the night?
Jessica: Yes! Be proactive with your bedtime routine, meaning anything they tend to ask for after the lights go out, take care of during the routine. Use the toilet, get a drink of water, give extra hugs, etc. I also love for parents to use a Clock or a Light so the child has a visual and can see for themselves when it’s time to stay in bed and when it’s time to get out.
If your toddler wakes up in the middle of the night, what is the best piece of advice you have on what to do?
Jessica: Walk your child back to bed, point out the above mentioned Clock or Light, and tell them it’s still sleepy time. Ideally you are walking your child back over and over and over for every single night wake until your child stays in their bed. It can be so exhausting!!!
Do you think it’s good to give toddlers a reward or something to look forward to for staying in bed all night?
Jessica: Yes, when done right. Rewards are not always appropriate for all children or all situations but they can be a great motivator for a lot of kids. When I work with families we come up with customized plan together, and at times the plan does involve rewards.
Do you have any tips on what NOT to do if your child gets out of bed at night?
Jessica: If the goal is to teach your child to stay in their bed, then we really don’t want to allow them to sleep other places, like in the parent’s bed. I know this is easier said than done in the middle of the night when we’re exhausted! When I work with families I go over ALL of the “not to do’s” and guide them through a step-by-step process to get their child sleeping!
Are there different approaches to helping your toddler stay in bed during a nap vs. at night?
Jessica: I really like for parents to take the same approach as consistency is key when it comes to great sleep. So whatever strategies are being used at night, should also be used for naps during the day.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about helping your toddler stay in bed?
Jessica: It can be really difficult to teach older children how to sleep because many strategies that were once effective as an infant, no longer work. Rather than struggling night after night, month after month with sleepless nights, know that I can help! If you’d like more information on my 1:1 personalized coaching services, schedule a Free Discovery Call so we can chat.
Thanks so much to Jessica! For any and all sleep needs, be sure to reach out to My Dreamy Sleeper!