How to Get Toddler to Sleep in Own Bed

Did you know that nearly 25% of parents struggle with getting their toddlers to sleep in their beds? We’ve all been there, feeling like we’re in a never-ending battle to establish bedtime routines. 

In this post, I’ll share practical tips and tricks to help us navigate getting our little ones to sleep soundly in their beds. From creating a cozy sleep environment to implementing consistent bedtime rituals, we’ll explore effective strategies that have worked wonders for many families. 

So, let’s dive in together and make bedtime a peaceful and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Read Also: Tips For Transitioning From Nursery to Toddler Room

How to Get Toddler to Sleep in Own Bed

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Understand Toddler Sleep Basics

Toddlers typically need 10-14 hours of sleep daily, including naps. Understanding their natural sleep rhythms helps us create a suitable bedtime routine.

Consistency is key in toddler sleep routines. A consistent bedtime and wake-up time helps regulate their internal clock. This predictability provides a sense of security for toddlers, making it easier for them to fall asleep.

Common sleep disturbances in toddlers include night terrors, nightmares, and bedtime resistance. Night terrors are different from nightmares as they occur during non-REM sleep. When faced with these challenges, we can comfort our toddlers and establish calming bedtime rituals to ease their fears.

Avoid Bedsharing

Bed-sharing with toddlers can lead to disrupted sleep, making the child and parents tired during the day. It may also impact the child’s independence and ability to self-soothe.

While it provides comfort, bed-sharing can create a dependency on parental presence for falling asleep, potentially leading to bedtime struggles.

Safety concerns associated with bed-sharing include the risk of accidental suffocation or entrapment in blankets or pillows. Toddlers are also at risk of falling off the bed during sleep.

To ensure safety, it is crucial to follow guidelines such as using a firm mattress, keeping pillows and heavy bedding away from the toddler, and avoiding sleeping on couches or armchairs.

Exploring alternative sleeping arrangements, such as transitioning the toddler to their bed, can promote better sleep habits and independence. A toddler bed or a low-to-the-ground mattress can be safer for young children.

Creating a cozy and inviting sleep environment in the toddler’s room with familiar objects like stuffed animals or nightlights can help ease the transition from bed-sharing to independent sleeping.

Prepare the Sleep Environment

Creating a cozy sleep environment for toddlers is crucial. We can achieve this by using soft, comfortable bedding and pillows. Plush toys can provide a sense of comfort and security.

A night light with a warm glow can help alleviate any fears of the dark. However, it’s essential to ensure it is not too bright to disturb sleep.

To reduce distractions in the bedroom, we should keep toys and electronic devices out of sight. These items can be stimulating and hinder relaxation before bedtime.

Clutter-free surroundings promote a sense of calmness. Organizing toys and books in designated areas can create a serene atmosphere conducive to sleep.

Maintaining an optimal room temperature is key, too. A cool, well-ventilated room promotes better sleep quality. Using lightweight pajamas and blankets suitable for the temperature ensures comfort throughout the night.

Controlling light exposure is vital for signaling bedtime. Dimming lights as bedtime approaches signals to toddlers that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. In my case, we have LED lights and my daughter associates the purple light with “night night time”. 

Establish a Positive Bedtime Routine

To help toddlers sleep in their bed, we should develop a calming bedtime routine. Engage in activities like reading a book or singing lullabies to promote relaxation before sleep. These activities signal that it’s time to wind down and prepare for bedtime.

Incorporate calming products into the bedtime routine. Products like Dr. Teal’s Kids Sleep Spray and Bath Soak can create a soothing environment conducive to sleep. The pleasant scents and gentle formulas can help relax the toddler and set the stage for a restful night.

Set a Consistent Bedtime

Setting a consistent bedtime is crucial in helping toddlers adjust to sleeping in their bed. By establishing a regular sleep schedule, we allow our little ones to anticipate when it’s time to go to bed. This consistency helps them feel secure and prepared for sleep, making the transition smoother and less stressful.

Create a bedtime routine that is predictable and comforting for the child. This predictability reassures toddlers, making them feel safe and secure as they prepare for bed each night. Whether, you start with a dance party before winding down to do a relaxing bubble bath, read a bedtime story for toddlers, or take a relaxing stroll around the block, having a consistent routine helps signal that it’s time for sleep.

Teach Your Toddler to Sleep Independently

When teaching toddlers to sleep in their bed, encouraging self-soothing techniques is crucial. By offering comfort items like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, we help them feel secure. Gentle reassurance and a consistent bedtime routine can also aid in developing self-soothing skills.

To ease the transition to independent sleep, gradually reduce parental presence at bedtime. Start by staying with your toddler until they are drowsy but awake, then gradually move further away each night. This gradual approach helps toddlers feel more comfortable sleeping alone over time.

Positive reinforcement plays a significant role in motivating toddlers to sleep on their own. Praise and rewards for staying in their bed throughout the night can reinforce this behavior positively. Celebrating small victories, such as falling asleep independently, can boost their confidence and encourage continued progress.

Manage Nighttime Crying Effectively

When our toddlers cry at night, we need to understand that different cries indicate various needs, just like when they were infants. In the beginning, their cries may be more intense and urgent if they are used to bedsharing with you and want to come back to your room, while tired cries may be softer but persistent. By recognizing these cues, we can respond appropriately.

To address nighttime crying effectively, we should employ responsive methods that are gentle yet encourage independence. Gradual techniques like the Ferber method, where we check in at increasing intervals, can help toddlers learn to self-soothe. This approach balances comfort with the development of healthy sleep habits.

I know it can be tempting to give in and allow your toddler to fall asleep in your room and then transport them over to their room. However, as someone who started with this method, I do not recommend it. It’ll result in less sleep for both of you in the end AND it’ll slow down the process of getting your toddler to sleep in their bed. 

Consistency is key when managing nighttime crying. By predictably offering reassurance and comfort, we help our toddlers feel secure and confident in their ability to fall asleep on their own. 

While responding promptly to our toddler’s cries is essential, setting boundaries is equally important. Establishing limits around behaviors like getting out of bed repeatedly reinforces the expectation that nighttime is for sleeping. By gently guiding our children back to bed without engaging in lengthy interactions, we communicate that it’s time to rest.

Stay Calm and Consistent

Bedtime struggles with toddlers can be challenging, but practicing patience is crucial. We must understand that it takes time for them to adjust to new routines.

Consistency in our approach helps toddlers feel secure and understand what to expect. By staying calm, we create a soothing environment that promotes better sleep habits.

Setting clear boundaries is essential for toddlers transitioning to sleeping in their bed. Establishing clear expectations helps them feel safe and secure during bedtime.

When we communicate bedtime rules lovingly yet firmly, toddlers learn to respect these boundaries. This approach fosters a sense of independence while ensuring a smooth bedtime routine.

Reinforcing positive habits such as reading a bedtime story or singing a lullaby signals toddlers that it’s time to wind down. Over time, this consistent approach helps them associate these activities with sleep.

Remember, each child is unique, so finding the right approach may take trial and error. However, by staying calm and consistent, we can guide our little ones toward peaceful nights of restful sleep.

Involve Your Toddler in The Transition 

When transitioning toddlers to their bed, involving them in the process can make a significant difference. Letting them choose their bedding or stuffed animals for comfort can create a sense of ownership.

Encourage them to participate in setting up their new sleep space by placing familiar items nearby. This involvement helps them feel more comfortable and excited about the transition.

Consider implementing a reward system where they earn stickers or small treats for each successful night in bed. This positive reinforcement reinforces the idea that sleeping independently is a commendable achievement.

Review and Adjust Strategies as Needed

As we navigate the journey of getting our toddlers to sleep in their beds, regularly evaluating the effectiveness of our strategies is crucial. By keeping track of what works and what doesn’t, we can make necessary adjustments to tailor our approach to our child’s specific needs. This process allows us to adapt and fine-tune our methods for better results.

Being open to modifying our approaches based on our toddler’s responses is key. Each child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. By remaining flexible and willing to try different techniques, we can discover the most effective way to help our little ones transition to sleeping independently in their beds.

Final Thoughts

We’ve discussed the intricacies of bedtime routines, independent sleeping habits, and soothing nighttime cries. Our journey has been about creating a haven for our little ones to rest peacefully. Remember that consistency is key, and our patience will be tested, but the reward of seeing our toddlers sleep soundly in their beds is priceless.

How to Get Toddler to Sleep in Own Bed