13 - 15 Months

Skip the night light: 4 tips to help your toddler sleep longer

If your toddler wakes up at the crack of dawn every morning or has trouble sleeping at night, their sleep space may need a second look. Research shows that a child’s sleep environment can strongly impact their sleep quality. Some children are more sensitive to their surroundings than others. 

1. Skip the night light

Your toddler is most likely too young to be afraid of the dark and shouldn’t need a night light just yet. Just like the sun, artificial light can affect your toddler’s sleep-wake cycles, or circadian rhythms. Consider covering the little lights on their baby monitor and other electronic devices with electrical tape; place a towel over a glowing clock or remove it from the room. To extend naps and prevent early morning wake-ups, try using blackout curtains. 

2. Keep it on the cool side

Research shows that a warm room can actually disrupt a child’s sleep. Most experts recommend keeping the room somewhere between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a hot climate, add a fan to the room and dress your toddler lightly—a diaper and T-shirt can be plenty on a warm night. 

3. Put away toys before bed (but let them keep a lovey)

Your toddler may have a harder time settling down if they can see fun things to play with from their crib or bed. You can make cleaning up part of their bedtime routine. Say goodnight to their toys and put them to sleep somewhere out of sight. 

Your may find allowing your toddler to keep a stuffed animal, blanket, or other lovey makes the separation from you at night easier. It’s okay for them to sleep with a special comfort object now that they’re more than a year old.

4. Block out background noise

Many houses have some background noise at bedtime—neighbors talking in the street, someone doing dishes, a television playing in another room. If there is noise in your home, a white noise machine or fan may help. Calm music can help your toddler fall asleep, too, but may be habit forming over time. 

Learn more about the research

Kohyama, J. (2021). Factors affecting the quality of sleep in children. Children, 8(2), 122.

Richdale, A. L., & Schreck, K. A. (2019). Examining sleep hygiene factors and sleep in young children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 57, 154-162.


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Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, 16 - 18 Months, 19 - 21 Months, 22 - 24 Months, Social Emotional, Sleeping, Lovevery App, Parenting, Child Development

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