Help Your Toddler Stay in Their Own Bed
These 4 steps can help end those middle of the night visits from your kiddo
By SCOTT HANSON
You’ve finally gotten to sleep. You’re even dreaming. But, something’s not right. You sense a presence. You crack open one eye and..
Your toddler is RIGHT there. Out of bed again. Climbing in with you.
Those middle of the night wakings are depriving you and your child of sleep. So it’s time to fix things. Because it doesn’t have to be that way.
“I love when my toddler gets out of bed multiple times in the middle of the night”
-NO MOM EVER
4 TIPS TO HELP TODDLERS SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
As the inventors of Hush Buddy, we hear from many parents who were struggling to get their kids to sleep through the night. So, here are a few tips with a proven, science-based track record.
- Focus on the BEGINNING of the night: If your toddler can fall asleep independently at the beginning of the night, they can do the same thing when they wake up in the middle of the night.
- Know what they’re looking for: Toddlers often have a “sleep checklist”. It’s a list of things they feel they NEED to go to sleep. The things on this list are called “transitional objects”– often a stuffed animal or a blanket. The trouble is, parents often make themselves transitional objects. So if you’re in the habit of lying down with your child while they go to sleep, your toddler may think that they need you in order to fall asleep. Therefore, when they wake up in the middle of night and run their checklist, they notice that you’re missing. So, they come to find you.
- Create a consistent routine for independent sleep: Now you understand WHY your child comes to you in the middle of the night. So it’s time to change bedtime so they learn to go to sleep independently. Your goal is to make going to sleep a habit and as automatic as possible. Introducing change like this can be tricky. One way to signal a fresh start is to make a change to their room– even just rearranging the furniture. Your child will start looking for the new patterns of bedtime, so make your move with a new routine. To create a habit, a routine needs to be CONSISTENT– the same time every night, the same way every night. It should always be driving toward your child falling asleep independently.
- Create a good environment for sleep: Watch out for battery operated devices that power off after the child has gone to sleep. Think about it. If the room looks and sounds one way when the child falls asleep, but is different when they wake up, that’s inconsistent. SO many things are missing from their checklist! It can lead to a visit to good old mom and dad.
We often hear parents who are using the Hush Buddy Sleep System report that their toddler began staying in their bed all night when they began using the system. They seem surprised, since Hush Buddy’s primary goal is to help a toddler learn to go to sleep quickly and quietly. But in fact, Whisper, the Hush Buddy is designed to be a transitional object, and one that doesn’t power down after the child goes to sleep. That consistency teaches an important life skill– how to go to sleep independently at the beginning of the night– and in the middle of the night!
And mom and dad can get some sleep too!