Toddler sleep training: sleep problems and routine disruptions

Toddler sleep training: sleep problems and routine disruptions

Our kids have been working so hard to master standing and walking. Pursuing those goals may have upset their other routines, especially their sleeping and napping schedules.

Having attained new developmental goals like standing and walking, your child’s once-predictable sleeping pattern has become less dependable. Morning and afternoon naps have become less regular, and he's probably waking up more frequently at night. He may spend his crib time moving up and down instead of sleeping, and that's okay. Eventually, once the novelty of walking wears off, your child will return to a more settled state. Until then, keep putting him in his crib at nap time, but don't worry if he doesn't sleep.

Night sleep
At night, sleep disruption is even more likely. You can help your child get back to sleep by reacting calmly and firmly, and reinstating all the familiar rituals. Give him about 10 minutes to go to sleep on his own. Go in and pat him softly to reassure him you're there, and then leave.

Eating patterns may also be disrupted. Your child may eat next to nothing at one meal and more than you do at the next. He'll balance it out just fine as long as you don't make a big deal out of it. In between meals, offer high-energy snacks such as a bagel with cream cheese.

Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments

Going to bed


I'm having a hard time getting my baby girl to fall asleep. She doesn't go to sleep as fast as she used to even though she has been in her toddler bed for a good while now.


Kelly 11/25/2015

Sleep is such a issue in our house we have tried all these and we just keep instilling them in our daily routines!

Helpful tips


Love the suggestion of high energy snacks.


tiff 11/2/2015

Very helpful and useful information!



When my baby was sleepy, I must nurse her.

Teaching Sleeping Habits: Toddler Sleep Training

Many a toddler will do anything to avoid falling asleep ⎯ crying, asking for drinks of water, even getting out of bed. Follow these guidelines to help with toddler sleep training.

Read more

Literacy Tips for Babies: Teaching Your Baby to Love Reading

Babyhood is when children start to acquire a love of stories and interest for words. Discover some easy ways to nurture the joy of reading with your baby!

Read more