Q&A: Any tips on helping my toddler sleep now that we moved her out of the family bed?
Any tips on helping my toddler sleep now that we moved her out of the family bed?
Now that your daughter is sleeping in her own bed, your goal should be to help her learn to fall asleep independently, not just so she stays in her own bed, but more importantly so she will be able to fall right back asleep each time she reaches a light stage of her sleep cycle. This will allow her to get an uninterrupted night of sleep without being reliant on anyone or anything else.
I’ve found that the best way to do this is to establish a regular, healthy bedtime routine. This includes a bath, followed by brushing teeth, PJs, and then sitting down to read books together. You’ll notice I didn’t mention any bedtime snacks or last-minute glasses of milk or water, as these things typically become unhealthy habits, if not stalling tactics for sleep-resistant children. If your child is dependent on you to fall asleep, some nice quiet time reading together can calm her down and get her prepared to fall asleep. Once you’ve got your toddler into this routine, feel free to leave her with a favorite stuffed animal and/or several board books to “read” to herself once you leave the room if she’s not quite convinced she’s ready to sleep yet.
Some toddlers take to this transition and new bedtime routine quite quickly. Others need a bit more time to adjust. Should your daughter decide to climb out of bed, it’s important that you’ve made sure her room is safe (outlets covered, nothing dangerous in reach) and that she won’t be at risk of wandering around the house, near stairs, etc.