OK, so we may have dressed these tried and tested bedtime techniques up with slightly exaggerated names just for fun but that doesn’t mean they don’t work.
The aim, at this age, is to get your toddler falling asleep by themselves. There is no ‘right way’ to get there – if it works for you, it works.
At a glance
- Giving them options and control
- Follow your child's cues
- Encourage your little one to fall asleep by themselves
1. The Evil Genius Technique
Around this age your toddler is looking to assert some control over their life. And no one wants to be told what to do all the time so who can blame them? Give your little one options during the bed-time routine . The trick here is to keep the options limited to a couple of choices both of which are equally appealing to you. “Do you want to wear these PJs or these ones?”. “Do you want this book, or this one?”. “Do you want to go to bed now, or in five minutes?”. Oh they will think they’re in control. But they’re not. And you can laugh like the evil genius you are. Mwaar Ha ha ha…
2. The Hypnotist Technique
“Look into my eyes, you are feeeeling very sleepy”. This one’s all about keeping an eye on the clock. When your little tot (or terror) shows signs of being tired, note the time and make that their bed-time. Talk to them about the bed-time routine so that they understand it’s to help them. You may want to try breaking your child’s sleep pattern so that they sleep longer at night either by waking them when you go to bed, cuddling, feeding them and putting them down again, or by making afternoon naps earlier or shorter. As always, this is about finding what works for you.
3. The Jedi Mind Control Technique
At this age, the trick is getting them used to falling asleep on their own. There is no definitive age at which this happens but using these techniques can help move the process along. The aim is to leave your toddler in the cot when they are sleepy but still awake enough to get used to falling asleep on their own. If they cry, go back into the room; explain gently but firmly that it’s time to go to sleep. Pat your little one’s back and reassure them, but avoid picking them up. And leave the room again. If they continue to cry, wait five minutes and repeat the process. Continue but leave longer gaps between going back into the room. This technique can also be used to help settle little ones back to sleep when they wake in the night.
Been there and done all of these? Other common causes of waking during the night are sudden growth spurts or teething. You are never alone on the night shift; your Bounty Community is here for you 24/7 with sleep advice and tips.