Tips To Help Your Toddler Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Once your toddler has transferred to their own bedroom, you may have hoped that was the end of getting up during the night, or being woken at the crack of dawn. However, this is not always how things work out! Some toddlers like to test the boundaries, while others may have more serious underlying health problems which prevent a good night’s sleep.

Here are some of the most common reasons why your little one may have trouble getting their full forty winks, and what you can do about it.


Recognise when they are overtired

A toddler that has pushed through their natural urge to go to sleep will enter a hyper-stimulated zone, where they become resistant to relaxing and dropping off. If this is happening often, it could be a sign that they are not getting enough rest time during the day, or that they are going to bed too late.

Up to the age of about two and a half years, a toddler will need about two hours of nap time during the day. Make sure they are well spaced apart, and not too close to bed time. Be intuitive about when the little one is ready for a lie down, even they resist it. For example, they might rub their eyes, fidget, whine, retreat from you, or seek your attention.


Have a consistent bedtime routine

Bring your toddler’s bedtime forwards, or move it later, if you suspect that your toddler is either not getting enough rest, or getting too much. Avoid overstimulating activities close to bedtime, such as playing boisterous games, or using screens. Instead, have a set routine that you follow every day, to give them a chance to mentally wind down and prepare for bed.

This should typically include a bath, reading a bedtime story together, and a final goodnight gesture. If they tend to get up asking for food or drink, you could try giving them a light snack before bed, and leaving a beaker of water by their bedside table. 


Make sure they are comfortable

Toddlers can’t always articulate when something is bothering them, and instead they will play up and try and gain your attention. There may be something in their bedroom environment that is upsetting them or preventing them from fully dropping off, even if they can’t identify it themselves.

Make sure that the room is a comfortable temperature, ideally between 16-20°c. Their bed should not be placed next to a radiator, or in a draughty spot by the window. Make sure that their bedding is clean and soft, with a child-size pillow and duvet. 

Use black-out curtains to help them sleep through light summer dawns, and block out any street lighting. If they dislike sleeping in the dark, place a night light that emits a soft ambient glow in their room. 

If you are still having trouble getting you toddler to sleep and it is nothing obvious such as teething or a wet nappy, discuss the problem with a healthcare professional.


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