Most parents have to deal with toddler sleep problems and overcoming them can be exhausting. You are not alone if you deal with your child sneaking into your bed at night to fall asleep. The good news is that other parents have shared proven solutions to this common problem. There is hope for you and your toddler to get a full night's rest. Here is how you can teach your toddler to sleep alone and to stop coming to your bed at night:
Step 1: Discover the Cause
Toddler sleep problems are the result of specific problems. Some toddlers still have teeth coming in. Others are afraid of the dark. Your toddler may not have enough time each night to wind down prior to her bedtime. It's important to determine the cause of your child sneaking into your bed at night so that you can find solutions to the problem. Keep a journal for two weeks, which chronicles your toddler's activities that day. Notate the nights that she sneaks into your bed and try to determine the cause. Once you figure out the cause of the problem, try to find solutions to address it.
Step 2: Figure out Your Routine
A bedtime routine may not solve the problem, but it can help. Create one that works for your family. Some ideas to try are:
- Pick a time to put your toddler to bed and stick to it
- Move her bath time to nights, just before bedtime
- Give her warm milk to drink before going to bed
- Read to your toddler while she lays in bed
- Sing to and with your toddler to calm her down
Each family is different, so don't feel that your routine has to be the same as the routines established by others. For example, your toddler may go to bed at a later time than other toddlers. It doesn't matter as long as your toddler gets enough sleep.
Step 3: Stay with Them
One way to overcome security issues is to remain in the room with your toddler until she falls asleep. It can actually be a nice time to squeeze in some last minute work for clients, customers or your business. After you're done with the bedtime routine, simply sit in a chair in the room and get some work done or read quietly. Your toddler may feel safer knowing that you're around, which can help her sleep through the night. You should try to minimize the amount of light in the room so that your toddler can sleep. A laptop light may not disturb your child, but you may need a small lamp or book light if you're not working on the computer.
Some toddler sleep problems never get resolved so matter what you do. Your child may not respond to anything your try. At that point, you'll have to accept the fact that your child will continue to sneak into your bed and wait for that phase of her life to pass. Your toddler will not do it forever, and remembering that will help you to cope with it.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business.