13 - 15 Months

6 pro tips to get your toddler to sleep

Mother laying down with their child

Going to bed can be hard for your toddler—and when they cry, cling, or continue to call your name night after night, it can be really hard on you, too.

Your toddler is just starting to understand that bedtime means the end of play and the beginning of a long stretch of time away from you, according to Lovevery’s certified sleep specialist, Lauren Lappen. They’re also entering a new period of testing boundaries. This testing tends to happen most during bedtime, meals, and other daily routines when you need their cooperation. 

Lappen offers these six strategies for caregivers:

Spend just a little extra time reading another book or cuddling. Creating this feeling of close connection lets your child know that you’re responding to their needs and it may help them settle down more easily. You may want to start their bedtime routine 15 minutes earlier so they don’t get overtired. 

Give them a small blanket or stuffed animal to use as a lovey. Try to include the lovey in their bedtime routine: “Let’s have your bear read a book with us and you can cuddle him while we read.” After you leave the room, they’ll still have their lovey to keep them company ❤️ 

Put their emotions into words. If your toddler resists getting in their crib or bed, you can say, “I see that you really don’t want to go into your crib. You’re crying because you’re disappointed, but it’s time for your body to rest. I can’t wait to play with you when you wake up.”

Don’t worry about creating bad habits by staying in their room for a few minutes. Your toddler may need a little extra time with you to settle down. Lightly rest your hand on them or sit in a chair nearby, remaining quiet to encourage sleep.

Give your child a warm, loving reception when they wake up. This helps to reassure them that it’s okay to fall asleep. Consider using the same phrase when you’re reunited: “I came back! I’m so excited to play with you again.”

Do your best to stick to your plan. When your child bumps up against a boundary you set, what they need most is for you to hold it firmly and lovingly in place. Know that some nights may be more challenging than others. If you react emotionally or waver, remember that you’re learning, too. Take a deep breath and try again next time. 


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Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, 16 - 18 Months, Social Emotional, Sleeping, Lovevery App, Parenting, Child Development

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