Getting your baby to sleep can be a challenge and what’s more, the routine can completely change as they get older. Transitioning from a crib to a new bed can take some time and as children grow up their attitude towards bedtime can become inconsistent. Up until now, mom and dad have been calling the shots, but toddlers can quickly learn to rebel.
Even if they were used to their bedtime routine as a baby it might now seem like a never-ending battle to get them to go to sleep. Before you get to the end of your tether, here are a few tips to help you prepare for war.
Gradually Ease the Transition
The problem with sleep transition is that babies and toddlers can find it challenging to get to the next level of sleep without some form of comfort or help. Although you might have got into a good routine of getting your baby to sleep, introducing a new bedtime routine when they’re toddlers can shake things up again.
If you’re aiming to get them to move from a crib to a proper bed, do so gradually. Give it a few days to sink in and encourage them to be excited about their new bed.
Practice Positive Nighttime Rituals
It’s important to practice positive nighttime rituals and to stick to a strict routine. Repetition is important because toddlers find it more challenging to control their impulses. Follow a happy and healthy bedtime routine for example, bath time, story time, and saying goodnight. If you make changes to your bedtime routine, do this from the start of the transition to a new bed. Don’t offer to stay in their room at the start as it will be harder to act differently later on.
Reinforce the Rules
You can also reinforce the rules by letting them feel empowered. You could try talking to your child and testing them on the bedtime routine rules. This will help them feel as though they have a little more control over the situation. It’s important to try different tactics to ensure your child understands the rules as well as simply remembering them.
Consider Physical Barriers
If you’re worried about your toddler staying in bed then you could consider a physical barrier such as a baby gate. This will help ease your toddler into the idea of staying in their own room, as opposed to a closed door, as they’ll still be able to see out and call for you if needed.
Take Care of Yourself
Finally, to stay as energized as possible to fight the bedtime battle, you need to take care of yourself as well. Aim to get a good night’s sleep and ask for help from time to time if you need a rest. Prioritizing your own sleep will make you better equipped to care for your child.