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Tips for solving toddler sleep problems

Tips for solving toddler sleep problems

The Sleep Store recommends the following tips for helping your toddler sleep through the night:


  1. Use an age appropriate routine, so your toddler knows when you expect her to sleep. For example, a day sleep at midday and bedtime at 7pm.

  2. Always put your toddler into her own bed awake so she learns to settle herself. Unless your toddler can fall asleep by herself, she will not be able to re-settle herself during the night.

  3. Have consistent bedtime and waking times 7 days a week.

  4. 7pm bedtime - it's the magic bed-time that helps your toddler sleep longer in the morning.

  5. Ensure your toddler sleeps during the day, as regular naps will mean better sleep at night and a toddler who isn’t over-tired during the day.

  6. Introduce a positive sleep association that will be there during the night, such as a comfort blankie or relaxing sleep music left on repeat.

  7. Toddler sleeping bags are excellent for keeping your toddler warm all night and building a very powerful sleep association with getting into the sleeping bag.

  8. Know the difference between night terrors and nightmares, as your approach to dealing with them should be quite different.

  9. Have a relaxing bedtime routine that you both enjoy, such as bath, bottle, stories, cuddles, good night.

  10. Use a night-light if your toddler is scared of the dark.

  11. If you are getting up during the night to replace a dummy, it’s time to think about getting rid of it or put several in the cot so it's easy for your toddler to find one for herself.

  12. Address separation anxiety during the day, so your toddler can separate from you more easily at bedtime. The Sleep Easy Solution CD and DVDs cover this well.

If your toddler is still not sleeping well, take action today. Sleep habits are well formed by now, and your toddler’s sleep is unlikely to improve unless you make changes. In fact 50% of babies with unresolved sleep problems are still not sleeping through the night when they are preschoolers.

The Sleep Store highly recommends ‘The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers’, by Elizabeth Pantley.

This wonderful book covers solutions for all the common toddler sleep problems, such as night-waking, needing a parent to fall asleep, weaning off night feeding and stopping visits to the parents' bed during the night.

Please read our article on choosing the right sleep book for your toddler if you would like detailed information on solving toddler sleep problems.