Teaching Sleeping Habits: Toddler Sleep Training

Getting enough sleep is essential for your toddler's healthy development, not to mention your sanity. Here's how to help your child slow down, switchgears, and head off into the Land of Nod.

Create a routine
Start each night with a relaxing routine. Changing into pajamas, brushing his teeth, and washing his face every night will help establish that these arethe things that happen before bedtime. Other calming activities include listening to quiet music, reading a story, or having a bath. Resist the urge toplay with your toddler, as this will make him excited rather than relaxed.

Be consistent
Stick with the same routine every night. When bedtime rolls around, he'll know what is expected of him.

Make bedtime comfortable
Let your child take her beloved teddy bear or blanket to bed with her. Allow one drink of water and then turn on a nightlight before closing the door.

Pause before answering a call
Children this age are likely to call out to you after you leave the room. With each entreaty, wait a few seconds longer. When you do answer, remind herthat it's bedtime. If you go into her room, leave the light off and make it quick.

Be patient
Teaching a toddler good sleep habits doesn't happen overnight. Keep doing the same thing at bedtime and eventually your toddler will learn to go along withthe plan.

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