Getting out of the crib and into the toddler bed is a significant life event for every youngster. When it comes to getting your toddler to sleep in a big-kid bed, the main problem is not convincing them to do so, but rather what to do when they don’t. Because of the strong desire to return to a parent’s room that comes along with having a lot of freedom.
So, how can you get your kid to sleep through the night? A toddler who won’t go to sleep is less of a problem for some parents. For them, it doesn’t matter where their toddler sleeps as long as he or she is sleeping. For some parents, the ability to put a toddler to sleep is of the utmost importance. Now it’s time for the toddler version of sleep training.
Falling Asleep Independently Will Help Keep Your Toddler in Bed All Night
Getting a kid to a point where he or she can fall asleep on his or her own is the first step in helping him or her stay in bed through the night. Leaving their room while they are still awake means that they have learned the ability to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
“If your child needs you nearby in order to fall asleep and you leave (either because you have to go attend to something or because you think he or she is asleep), your toddler will absolutely leave the bed to come and find you,” says Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, director of the behavioral sleep program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and author of Become Your Child’s Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor’s 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10.
She said that on average, children wake up 2-6 times per night. So treat your toddler’s bedtime as an opportunity to teach them the skills they will need to take care of some of their own needs during the night. Like Dr. Schneeberg explains, “If your toddler needs your support to fall asleep at bedtime and you leave only once he or she is fully asleep, your child will leave their bed to come and find you at night as all toddlers do.”
Sleep-Training Your Toddler
“Walking” a toddler to sleep has numerous names, most of which have the word “walk” in them. There will be a lot of back and forth between the two of you. Possibly all night long as well. Here are the easy steps:
- Include hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement in your child’s nighttime routine, as usual.
- Without fanfare and without addressing any last-minute appeals or requests, quickly and quietly depart.
- If your child wakes up, calmly walk them back to bed, tuck them in again, and remind them that they must remain in bed. Get out of here!
- In the event that your children awaken from their slumber, calmly and quietly guide them back to bed. Then put them to bed. Get out of here!
It’s not easy or quick to get your child to stay in bed overnight. It’s possible that it won’t work for at least one night. It could take up to five minutes. However, it will work in the long run. Maintaining your composure in the face of your child’s antics is the most important thing. Throwing things at your face isn’t an excuse for not doing what’s right
What’s the matter with you? Think of the times when you and your lover are alone in bed and have a private talk. Having a sexual relationship is another option.
Make Clear Expectations About Staying in Bed
You should make it clear to your child what you expect of them. “If you have a bedtime chart, you can say, ‘the chart says it’s time to brush teeth now,’ or ‘holding the dog again is not on the chart,'” Dr. Schneeberg explains, via the Huffington Post.
Charts can be just as beneficial to the parent as they are to the child. You’ll be exhausted by the time you get to bed and may find it difficult to maintain firm boundaries. Dr. Schneeberg says that parents often believe that if they give all of their child’s requests while they are out of the room, their child would ultimately fall asleep. By fulfilling their every request, parents are in fact rewarding their children for remaining awake.
It’s possible that Dr. Schneeberg recommends a ticket or token system if a chart is too inflexible for you or your child. If your child wants to deviate from the bedtime routine, they can “spend” two tickets each night. A ticket can be used to buy an additional book, a cup of coffee, or anything else that falls within the parameters of reasonableness. According to Dr. Schneeberg: “Once the two tickets have been used, parents can tell their children to go back to bed to play quietly in bed with their comfort objects until they are weary enough to go asleep.
Getting Your Toddler Back to Bed
A child’s refusal to go to sleep is based on a well-reasoned argument. They’re afraid of losing out on the enjoyable activities their parents or siblings do at night, so they choose to stay up rather than go to sleep. Unfortunately, they also grossly overestimate their ability to remain healthy and pleasant if they do not get enough sleep, thus it is critical that they go back to bed.
There are a few tips for restoring your child to sleep, according to Dr. Schneeberg. Remind your youngster that he or she can continue to play with their favorite stuffed animal until they are tired.” There are a few options if your child wakes up in the middle of the night in your room, including letting them sleep on a spare bed in your room, sleeping in their room, or walking them back to their room until they fall asleep on their own.
In the midst of a seemingly overwhelming difficulty, you have an opportunity to gently reiterate that your child has the ability to stay in bed and that it is a secure place for them. They’ll be sleeping through the night in no time. Getting your child out of bed is going to get increasingly difficult as they grow older.
Just because your child turns two or three doesn’t mean it’s time to go from a crib to a bed if he or she is happy and content in it. Even while it’s preferable to wait until your child is at least two years old, the closer they are to three, the better. 1
“You also don’t want to make the switch to a big kid bed as a response. Strong remarked, “You want things to be planned out.” You don’t have to switch to a bed right away if your youngster gets out of the crib.
If your child is about to embark on another major life change, such as starting preschool, welcoming a sibling, or going through the process of toilet training, now is not the time to introduce a new bed.
Make the transfer to a new crib many weeks before the baby is due if you require it for him or her. Consider purchasing a second crib to help your older child get some shut-eye when you’re caring for a baby who’s awake all night.
Easing the Transition
A week of preparation for your toddler’s new sleeping arrangement is not necessary, but you should establish certain ground rules in advance. A youngster who has been sleeping in the same crib for two or more years may be traumatized if the crib is taken away without notice.
At the very least, allow a few days for it to set in. Have a conversation with your child a few days before you move from the crib to the bed.” The bed is a major deal, however there are some regulations we must observe when being in the bed. Tell them that.
Tell your child what is about to happen in advance. Prepare your child for the impending switch by explaining how it will be accomplished in before so that they aren’t taken by surprise when the crib is transformed into a regular-sized bed or a mattress is placed on the floor.
As simple as putting in a new bed and taking out the crib, the entire room becomes the crib once the bars are removed. If you have a toddler, you’ll need to make sure the room is safe, so think about what has to be secured to the wall or removed from the room totally.
Some toddlers prefer to be able to transfer between a crib and a bed for brief periods of time (of course, this is not an option with a convertible crib). Some parents find that removing the crib makes the process of adjusting to parenthood easier.
Ground rules are essential, but it’s also important to allow your youngster feel confident. Strength believes that “whatever you can do to assist a child but allow them some control over the situation to ensure that they don’t feel helpless in this transition is going to be helpful.”.
She advises that you chat to your child about the nighttime ritual. “ Have a conversation with your child about their nightly bedtime ritual. We’re at a loss. Tossing and turning in our beds till the sun comes up is how we wind down for the night. Every time you go through the rules, you’re stressing the importance of following them.
Repetition and recognizing that understanding rules and being able to obey them are two separate things are vital for children who have difficulty controlling their impulses.
The nighttime ritual can also be illustrated with hilarious photos, such as bath time, story time, brushing teeth, laying down, and saying goodbye. You don’t need to be extra Pinterest-happy on this one, though.
Keeping Your Toddler in Bed
It will get easier if you keep emphasizing the ground rules and habit. If your child refuses to go to sleep, you may need to erect a physical barrier. Strong suggests installing a baby gate in front of the door to establish a separation between the child and the rest of the household while also making it easier for the child to get in and out.
Some youngsters will come running to find you as soon as they wake up. Even if you enjoy your new alarm clock, waking up at 5 a.m. is still too early. When it’s time to get out of bed, use a special toddler clock that turns yellow.
Strong advocates utilizing a standard digital clock if you don’t want to spend the money on a new one. Your youngster should be taught to count backwards from one, so you should cover up all the other digits and only show the first digit of the number.” At six o’clock in the morning they’ll see that I’m up and about.
Returning a child to bed when they aren’t ready to start learning numbers can help them understand that it’s not time to get out of bed yet.
This is dependent on how well you’ve established bedtime standards and how open you are to reinforcing them. Even while it may be appealing at the beginning of the night to stay in a child’s room until they fall asleep, it will be difficult to break the habit.
As soon as you make the adjustment, it’s vital to establish a nighttime routine and set expectations for it, says Strong. If you think, ‘I’ll stay here for a while and we’ll figure out how to fix it later,’ don’t do it.'”
When you transition your child from a crib to a full-sized bed, naps become a challenge. Some children only take one nap by the time they are two or three years old, and others begin to skip the third one altogether. 2 It doesn’t matter if that’s the case; parents can still mandate that their children take breaks throughout the day for relaxation.
In order for a child to get adequate rest, parents must ensure that they allow their child to take a nap at some point during the day.” “Your body needs to rest,” you can say. Then we can go to the park and ride our bikes in the afternoon, but if you don’t get that rest, our bodies won’t be able to accomplish those things,'”strongly advised Strong.
Your child will be more aware of rest time restrictions if you use a clock in his/her room and set it to go off after an hour. Provide a box of peaceful activities for your child if you know they won’t be sleeping. Electronics, screens, and loud toys should be avoided. Even if it appears like your toddler is unwinding, those activities are likely to be stimulating.
Consistency is key to a successful nap time transition, as is the case with all other parts of the big kid bed transition. In most circumstances, your toddler will continue to take naps if you offer them consistently at the same time each day.
A Word From Verywell
Your child will eventually become acclimated to sleeping in a bed, although it may take some time. Just be sure to establish and enforce expectations about going to bed as soon as possible.