Toddler Sleep Tips
Updated: Apr 4
In this article, I am sharing what you need to know from toddler sleep like moving from a cot to a bed, sleep schedule, bedtime routine and suggestions with you which you can help your toddler to sleep better.
Moving from a Cot to a Bed
Source: Google Images
Toddlers need 10-12 hours of sleep a night. Once asleep, most toddlers sleep through most nights without waking mama or dada. But toddlers love to test their independence, so getting them to bed in the first place can be a challenge. Some toddlers find it harder to get to sleep when overtired.
- Spot the toddler’s “signs of tiredness”.
- Settle the toddler to sleep before grumpiness etc sets in.
- Start a firm and consistent bedtime routine for the toddler.
For example, if the toddler still does not want to go to sleep, crying, showing tantrums, running away after some calling for bedtime, the parent might try to carry the toddler to bed, dim the light and leave the room.
When to move from a cot to a bed?
- starts to climb out of the cot.
- needs to use the toilet at night.
- is 2 to 3 years old.
- is asked to give up the cot for a new baby brother or sister.
Tips to move from a cot to a bed
- Tell the toddler about moving from a cot to a bed and let the toddler knows it will be fun.
- Take the toddler to shop for the bed mattress on the floor.
If you like to find out how sleep affects learning, please refer to the article “Sleep Problems and Impacts on Lack of Sleep in Toddlers”.
Toddler Sleep Schedule
A common daily sleep schedule for toddlers might look like this:
- 7 am: Wake up
- 1 pm: 1 or 2 hour nap
- 3 pm: Wake up
- 7 pm: Bedtime
If the toddler’s day nap is too long or too late in the day, the toddler might not be ready for bed until late at night.
If the toddler tends to wake up early, the parents might want to move bedtime forward.
Toddler Bedtime Routine
A consistent bedtime routine helps prepare toddlers for sleep.
- Brush Teeth and Change Diaper and pyjamas.
- Quiet Time (read or tell a story).
- Give the toddler milk if the toddler needs it.
- Put the toddler in bed.
If the toddler still takes a pacifier to bed, encourage the toddler to let go of the pacifier.
If not, teach the toddler how to put back the pacifier when waking up in the middle of the night and get back to sleep without the parents’ help.
Let the toddler take a blanket from the old cot to the new bed. This might help the toddler to feel more secure and comfortable.
- Check the toddler’s room and make sure the sleeping environment is safe.
- Say goodnight and see you in the morning to the toddler.
- Switch off the light and leave the room. If the toddler is scared of the dark, get a nightlight to put in the room.
Calling out and getting up after bedtime
If the toddler shares bedroom with a brother or sister, the parent might need to delay the other child’s bedtime by half an hour until the toddler is settled and asleep. This prevents the toddler from not sleeping, playing and talking with the other child.
Does your toddler "keep calling out or getting out of bed" after you or your spouse leave the room? Here are tips for you to try it out.
Preparing the toddler to sleep away from home
Let the toddler know what is going to happen.
This helps the toddler to feel safe and happy.
Where: The toddler is going to childcare soon to learn, play and sleep.
Who: There will be teachers looking after the toddler.
Maintain the toddler’s bedtime routine away from home.
This helps the toddler adapt to an unfamiliar place. Pack the toddler’s favourite teddy or blanket into the bag.
Let the teacher know about the toddler’s sleep needs.
This helps to keep the toddler’s routine the same when away from home. Most childcare centres will follow the toddler’s regular feeding, sleeping and play routines.
Sleeping at home after childcare
The toddler may have been quite active during a day at childcare and might be more tired than usual at the end of the day.
The toddler might sleep longer and settle easily once back at home. If the toddler is overtired and difficult to settle, try spending some extra time helping the toddler get back into the home routine.
I hope this article is helpful for you to help your toddler to sleep better.
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