Toddler Sleep Problems: 5 Tips on How to Put a Toddler to Sleep

Toddlers have a seemingly endless supply of energy, usually most noticeable just prior to bedtime. As such, you might be wondering how to put a toddler to sleep. Even if you know how to put a baby to sleep in 40 seconds, trying to conquer those toddler sleep problems is exhausting.


Getting to the root cause of why your toddler won’t go to sleep is the first step. For many toddlers, they’re overexcited. Maybe they’ve been having fun playing or they’ve had something sugary too close to bedtime. Or perhaps something is bothering them. Sometimes external things such as bright lights or loud noises could be keeping them awake, or they may be teething, have an itchy tag in their pajamas, or be uncomfortable with the temperature in their room.


And yes, toddlers will linger if they think they’re missing out on what the adults are doing. Some may not know how to fall asleep without you while others may be going to bed too early or too late. Whatever is keeping them up, these 5 tips will show you how to put a toddler to sleep despite any toddler sleep problems.


1. Create a routine

Children need a routine that gets them off to bed at the same time each day and waking up at the same time each morning. If they take a nap, try to keep it around the same time too.


2. Make a calm space

toddlers bedroom

In the evenings as part of your routine, try to wind things down at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Lights should be dimmed and activities should be peaceful, like reading and bath time. Your toddler sleep problems may be due to TV at night or bright and irritating lights.


3. Avoid food and drink before bed

Too much water and your toddler will keep getting up to use the bathroom. And eating too close to bedtime may cause reflux or other troublesome issues. Always make sure you finish dinner well before it’s time to tuck your little one in.


4. Put them to bed sleepy

sleeping toddler

One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents is to put our kids to bed after they’ve fallen asleep. Tucking them in while they’re sleepy yet awake helps them learn to put themselves to sleep.


5. Don’t let nightmares get in the way

Just as you do, sometimes toddlers have nightmares. It’s certainly fine to let them snuggle in with you to calm down. After that though, take them back to their own bed and use their favorite comfort items to help them feel safe. Eventually, your toddler will learn to calm themselves after a bad dream on their own.


And if you want to know how to put a baby to sleep in 40 seconds, you can try gently gliding a clean tissue over their face. This works on babies though toddlers may not stand for it, but it could be worth a shot in getting a toddler who says they’re not tired to go to sleep.


Writer: Jennifer Raskin

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