Sleep is incredibly important for a toddler. Every parent faces the problem of getting their little one to sleep! There are some tips on how to get a toddler to sleep fast.
Table of Contents
Get Your Toddler To Sleep Quickly!
Here are some of the techniques I use to get my toddler to sleep fast:
- Tickle his arm, or back. This is my go-to technique
- Turn on his light projector
- Make the room as dark as it can be (I need to stay with him)
- Put on a relaxing meditation playlist
- Tuck him in tightly
One of these will work! It is a guarantee. However, I do not use these most nights, only when I need him to get to sleep quickly.
That is the list, but there is some prep work that you can do to make sure your toddler gets to sleep quickly in the future. So the rest of the post is going to guide you through this!
How To Get Your Toddler To Sleep Fast – The Groundwork
Create a Bedtime Routine – Takes Time
Most toddlers thrive when their world is consistent. The smallest change can mean the difference between getting your little one to settle down and being up for hours past bedtime.
Creating a consistent bedtime routine helps your child know what to expect so that when it’s time to lay down and go to sleep, they are ready.
Your routine could be a warm bath, a bedtime story and then a short snuggle before turning out the lights and leaving the room. You should also schedule in when you’ll come in to check on your toddler so they aren’t calling out for you repeatedly instead of going to sleep.
Use a White Noise Machine
The term sleeping like a baby is misleading. After all, babies and toddlers don’t always sleep all night and some of them wake often. If noises from outside are keeping your toddler awake, put a white noise machine in the bedroom.
This will provide a soothing backdrop that will help lull them to sleep, while also masking outside sounds that could be waking them up over and over again.
Avoid Food and Drink
You don’t want your little one to go to sleep hungry or thirsty, but food and drink too close to bedtime can make it hard for them to fall asleep.
Provide a filling supper and a couple of sips of milk or water before bed, but otherwise, avoid allowing your toddler to eat a snack before bed.
Put Your Toddler to Bed Awake
It might be easier to rock your toddler to sleep before laying them down, but this will ultimately backfire on you.
You want to put your toddler to bed while they’re still awake so they learn to soothe themself to sleep. That way if they wake up later in the night, they’re able to put themself back to sleep. It is better than relying on you to come to rock them back to sleep.
Allowing your toddler to self soothe may take a bit of time to make it work. Stick with it and you’ll enjoy the results when they come.
Use a Light Projector
One of the solutions for how to get a toddler to sleep fast is a light projector. If your toddler is afraid of the dark or has frequent night terrors, or nightmares, using a light projector can make bedtime easier for both of you.
The light offers the comfort your toddler needs to fall asleep in their bedroom and keeps you from having to camp out until they fall asleep.
A light projector can also create a soothing visual on the ceiling that helps your toddler go to sleep. Some can be programmed to change color or turn off to let your toddler know they can leave their bed in the morning.
Don’t Play on the Bed
Toddlers are naturally inquisitive and are able to turn anything into a toy.
However, you should refrain from playing on the bed.
By using it only for sleep, it tells your child that when they are in bed, it’s time to sleep. They won’t be distracted with activities from earlier in the day that can keep them awake.
Tell your toddler that their bed is only for sleeping and then show them how to enjoy playing in other parts of the house instead.
Time Naptime Well
Most toddlers still need a nap during the day, but you’ve got to time it right. A nap shouldn’t happen too late in the day or your toddler may be too wide awake to go sleep at bedtime.
At the same time, naps shouldn’t be too short or too long as that can interfere with your child’s natural sleep rhythms. It might keep them awake at night.
The right nap should ideally occur not long after lunch and shouldn’t last more than two hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
In a perfect world, you’d lay your toddler down and they’d settle down and go right to sleep. However, this doesn’t happen very often so it makes sense to figure out how long it should take your little one to drift off. In fact, falling asleep immediately is a sign that your toddler isn’t getting enough sleep and is overtired. It should take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep if they are well rested otherwise. This time can be frustrating for you, but if you give it a chance, you’ll find that your child learns to fall asleep once they’re in bed.
Most toddlers need 12 to 14 hours of sleep daily. That means that if your little one takes a two-hour nap, they likely need 12 hours of sleep at night. Many experts recommend putting your toddler to bed around 7:00 pm and getting them up at 7:00 am. However, the amount of time is more important so adjust according to your lifestyle needs. Just remember that your toddler should go to bed and get up at the same time every night or their sleep/wake cycle can be skewed, making bedtime a daily struggle.
Once toddlers have the freedom of a big kid bed and aren’t stuck in a crib all night anymore, they naturally test the limits and get out of bed as often as they can. This can be very frustrating for you and make it difficult for both of you to get enough sleep at night. There are several ways to ensure that your toddler stays put. Make the bedroom inviting and comfortable so they want to be in there. Create a rule that your toddler sleeps in their own bed at night and don’t give in if they throw a tantrum about it. Sticking to your routine tells them that you are serious about the rules and expect them to be followed.
The tips on this page will help you get your toddler to sleep quick! Toddler sleep is vital for proper growth and development. Setting the stage for healthy sleep habits now will serve your child well as they get older.
A smooth bedtime may not happen immediately. Stay on track and pretty soon, getting your little one to bed at night won’t be such a hassle. It might even be something you both look forward to.