How Do I Change Toddler Sleep Habits?

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Toddlers are often set in their routines, but sometimes those routines aren’t what’s best for them and their family. You might need more alone time in the evening or you may need to start waking your toddler up earlier to go to school or day care. Whether your toddler is getting up too early or going to bed too late, you can change her habits if you do it gradually and don’t expect an overnight miracle.

Step 1

Track your toddlers current sleep patterns. A toddler should be getting about 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day, often broken up between nighttime sleeping and an afternoon nap, according to Kids Health. Take note of habits that you don’t like, such as your child wanting to fall asleep in your bed or needing you by his side until he falls asleep.

Step 2

Make one slight change to your child’s sleeping habit. For example, if you want him to start sleeping early, move bedtime 15 minutes earlier, which means everything in the evening routine should be 15 minutes earlier. If you want him to start sleeping in his own bed, try putting his mattress on the floor in your room.

Step 3

Maintain this minor adjustment until it becomes a new habit. Being consistent will help your child to form the new habit quicker.

Step 4

Introduce minor changes one at a time until your child is sleeping as she should be.

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