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5 Sleep Expert Approved Techniques for Sleep Training Toddlers You’ll Wish You’d Known About Sooner

Sleep training toddlers can sometimes feel like trying to nail jelly to a wall—frustrating and a little bit sticky.

But honestly, there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

Especially if you apply some of these expert-backed strategies that promise to make bedtime less of a battle and more of a breeze…

Here’s the lowdown on the sleep training techniques you’ll wish were in your parenting arsenal sooner!

Sleep Training Toddler Tips

Toddler Sleeping

Consistent Bedtime Routine

Think of this as the bedtime boogie—a series of steps that lead to dreamland.

A soothing bath with gentle bubbles can wash away the day’s chaos, setting a calm tone.

Following up with a favorite storybook not only enriches their mind but also strengthens your bond. And those final moments of snug cuddle time?

They’re golden, serving as a cozy reminder of your love and security.

This routine is like a secret handshake between your child and the Sandman, letting their little bodies know it’s time to power down.

To add a cherry on top, occasionally switch up the stories or introduce a quiet, bedtime-themed song to keep the routine exciting and something they look forward to.

Plus, who doesn’t love ending the day with a good book and a cuddle? It’s a heartwarming finale to any day, ensuring your little one drifts off to sleep feeling loved, secure, and peacefully ready for whatever adventures await in dreamland.

portrait photography, toddler girl, blonde haiir getting ready for bed with pajamas and sleepy face

The ‘Sleep Fairy’ Reward System

For an imaginative twist, introduce the concept of the “Sleep Fairy.”

Much like the Tooth Fairy, the Sleep Fairy rewards good bedtime behavior with a small token left under the pillow.

This can be a special note of praise, a sticker, or a tiny trinket. The key is to build excitement and positivity around the idea of going to bed and staying there until morning.

It’s a method that turns the act of sleeping through the night into an adventure, where their efforts are acknowledged and celebrated.

Explain that the Sleep Fairy only visits children who stay in bed and try their best to sleep, encouraging them to embrace bedtime as a positive, rewarding experience.

Create The Optimal Sleep Environment

Creating a snooze-friendly space is like setting the stage for a blockbuster night’s sleep.

Start with a comfy mattress that feels like a cloud and adjust the room temperature to a cool, sleep-inducing 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ambiance of the room should whisper “relax” with soft, calming colors and minimal clutter.

A white noise machine plays a dual role, acting both as a soundtrack to their slumber and a barrier to external noises, ensuring the peace isn’t disturbed.

Think of adding a dimmable nightlight that emits a warm, soft glow, offering comfort without hindering the journey to dreamland.

It’s about crafting a sanctuary that beckons to sweet dreams, creating an environment where rest is not just an activity, but an experience.

And while you can’t order up dreams like room service, setting the scene right can surely serve up some sweet slumber.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Screens before bed are indeed the sleep thief’s best friend, zapping melatonin levels like a double espresso shot for your toddler’s brain.

By enforcing a no-screen zone at least an hour before sleep, you’re inviting their minds to mellow out and prepare for rest.

Instead of tablets and TVs, introduce calming pre-sleep activities that soothe rather than stimulate.

Engage in quiet play with plush toys, puzzle-solving, or drawing, activities that gently wind down their energy.

It’s akin to swapping a rock concert’s high energy for the serene, gentle flow of a lullaby.

Incorporate storytelling without books, allowing their imagination to paint the scenes, further encouraging relaxation and making the transition to sleep a smooth, peaceful journey to dreamland.

This shift not only sets the tone for a good night’s sleep but also enriches those precious moments before bedtime, creating lasting memories and a stronger bond.

Toddler Girl Sleeping

Positive Sleep Associations

Turning bedtime into a positive experience truly is like granting your child an all-access, backstage pass to the enchanting world of dreams.

Introducing a special stuffed animal, affectionately known as their “sleep buddy,” or a soft-glow nightlight transforms their bedroom into a sanctuary of comfort and safety.

These elements are like silent guardians, assuring them that the night is nothing to fear.

Enhance this vibe with a sprinkle of bedtime magic, such as a “dream spray” made of water and a drop of lavender oil, misted around the room to ward off bad dreams and invite sweet ones.

It’s about embedding the idea that their bedroom is a realm of positive adventures—a place they’re excited to return to each night, rather than a battleground for wills.

This means you’re not just easing the transition into sleep; you’re also fostering a lifelong appreciation for the sanctity and serenity of bedtime.

This approach not only smoothens out the nightly routine but also enriches your child’s nighttime rituals with warmth and security, making “goodnight” the opening chapter to a peaceful slumber filled with delightful dreams.