Getting your headstrong toddler to stay in their bed all night can be a huge challenge! We are currently in the thick of it, and let me tell you, I am ready to get some sleep back!
In my (almost) 13 years of being a parent, I have learned a few good tips that have helped me with all of my children and they are definitely not failing me with our 5th baby.
Here are 8 simple ways to help your toddler stay in bed at night!
1. Keep A Bedtime Routine
It’s important that when it’s time to go to bed, your kids know that too. Whether they are 12, or just a few months old, it’s good to start having a good bedtime routine.
Every bedtime routine is different. The way that you put your kids to bed is going to be different than your neighbors, or mine, etc. So, it’s important that the routine works for you! The important thing is that you and your toddler both need sleep.
Here are a few things that I personally do, to help get my toddlers to get ready for bed. Not only is it important to do these things but it also keeps the essence of a routine so that your kids will know it’s time for bed.
- Fresh Diaper
- Wash Hands
- Brush hair and teeth
- Drink of Water
2. Let Them See Older Siblings In Bed
This was a literal game-changer. Normally, I’ll put my 2-year-old do bed first, followed by my 3-year-old. I did this for one major reason… The stalling. Oh, the stallings of a 3-year-old. It can take a while.
But I realized after a while, (actually, after my husband pointed it out) that maybe letting my 2-year-old actually physically SEE my 3-year-old getting in bed first would help! So, off to bed, the 3-year-old goes, and then the 2-year-old. It works like a charm. (On most nights!)
3. Be Gentle (Even When It’s Hard)
If you’ve ever been a mom who’s extremely tired, has to work the next morning, and just wants to go to sleep….I know you know what I mean. Sometimes it’s hard to stay gentle, not only with your toddler but with yourself. Keeping your toddler in their bed is a process, and we are on their schedule.
So when they wake up in the middle of the night or put up a fight to go to bed, just remember. Remember that it’s going to be okay, remember that this season won’t last forever even though it feels like it will.
Be gentle not only with your toddler but with yourself.
4. Do “The Check”
In my opinion, as a mom of 5, it’s really important to go through all of the “checks”. And no, sadly, this is not a checklist that you just cross off and you’re done.
If you go through your checklist, and then they wake up in the middle of the night….the checklist starts all over. Obviously, they’ve already brushed hair and teeth so that doesn’t need to be repeated. However, there are other things that may be a bit repetitive.
Things like diaper changes, sips of water, hugs, and kisses are just a few things that may need to be repeated. So, do your check, whatever your checklist looks like. Here’s my checklist when my toddler does to bed and wakes up in the middle of the night:
- Diaper change
- Hugs and kisses
5. Set Boundaries And Be Firm
So, being a mom is hard, right? There are sometimes we are soft. Sometimes we have to put our foot down. Bedtime is one of the situations where we need to put our foot down.
I don’t mean to be cold, mean, and let them fend for themselves. I just mean to set boundaries. One of the ways to set boundaries is to talk to your toddler. Saying things like “We have to get some sleep so we wake up big and strong”, or other similar things can them feel like they have some control.
And also be firm. Don’t give in. That doesn’t mean stop checking on them or yell. It just means be patient and stick to what you said.
6. Read Or Sing About Bedtime
Reading or singing is a great way to get your toddler’s attention. I am not the best reading mom, but we do like to sing. We especially love Cocomelon (even my older kids sing the clean-up song) and, a song or book about bedtime will help prepare them that it is time for bed!
7. Give Yourself Grace
It’s hard putting a toddler to bed who fights it. It’s hard hearing the cries. It’s hard knowing you’re losing out on sleep. But give yourself some grace.
8. Pray With Your Toddler
Praying with your toddler every night is a great way to teach your toddler how to pray, and connect with God. I say the same prayer with my kids every single night. There are so many books that cover bedtime prayers with your little ones, too!
Final thoughts on keeping your toddler in their bed at night
Bedtime looks different for every family, every child. The key is finding out what works for you and your toddler. Maybe you co-sleep with your child and something in this article resonates with you! Maybe you are like me and your kids sleep in their own bed every night.
We all are on the same journey, regardless of how we get there. We all want our kids to sleep through the night so they can feel refreshed in the morning and not be cranky and tired.
Here’s my advice on toddlers sleeping all night. The thing to remember is that you are going to have those nights. You’re going to have those late nights where all you want to do is rest and sleep, and your toddler is keeping you up.
But as I said, the season won’t last forever. So embrace it, and try to get a nap the next day if you’re tired. You got this.
Also, it’s best to speak to your doctor or a pediatric sleep consultant about any concerns you have about your sleeping toddler!
Tell me in the comments, what’s your secret to getting your toddler to stay in their bed?!
Related Post: An Open Letter To Busy Moms Everywhere