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

never slept thru the night


my almost 20 month old has not slept thru the night. we co-sleep and she drinks most of her milk during the night. going to try the 10 min and see if that helps.

Loss of the binky and sleep


We are struggling with a 3-year-old who we finally told no more binky. She always slept well, but now has to figure out how to do it without that comfort piece.



when my daughter wakes up midnight sometimes i jump up and make a bottle since she goes right back to sleep. but i am going to give it 10 mins and reassure her and hope it works. Thanks :)

very helpful


This is very helpful for myself and other parents. Thank you very much



Very helpful. Thank you.

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

Crybabies: why do some babies cry more than others?

You might ask yourself why your baby cries so much. Here’s what you can do to soothe your baby and relieve your own stress.

Read more

Housework with Toddlers

Since our kids like to imitate us, why not show them ways to help around the house? Some easy chores kids can do (with parental supervision) include dusting, watering plants and sorting laundry. Get more ideas.

Read more