Help My Toddler Won’t Sleep at Night – What to Try Next…
Many parents have gone through the struggle of having a toddler who suddenly doesn’t want to go to sleep at night or who goes to bed nicely but tosses and turns for ages before falling asleep, sometimes for hours. We had this with our firstborn — she would be up until 10 or 11pm at night when we went to bed, fully awake and alert and if we put her to bed at 8pm, she would still not fall asleep until around 10pm. A similar thing happened with out second daughter and I’m sure we’ll go through a phase like this with our third daughter too. So, what can you try if your child just won’t go to sleep at night?
This is what worked for us. We had to cut out napping even though our girls were only about 2 years old at the time. They were simply not tired enough at night due to napping in the afternoon. If you really can’t cut the naps out completely, try just allowing naps before 12pm. Our girls both magically started falling asleep at 7-7.30pm when we cut out the naps which was amazing!
Maybe it’s time to upgrade your toddler’s bed to a full-sized bed. A cot or toddler bed can soon feel too small or simply not be comfortable enough as your child grows. You know how kids always sleep really well in their parents’ bed? It’s not just the company of the parents that does this — it’s also the comfort of the bed and the duvet. Try a full-sized single bed and let your child help choose bedding to make them more interested in their bed and bedtime.
Screen-time close to bed is a big no-no. My 5-year-old really struggles to fall asleep these days if she’s been watching TV close to bedtime so we make sure to not let the kids watch anything near bedtime. Instead, we play a board game, play with Lego together or read books! Much more relaxing and sleep-friendly.
Some children need a lot of physical activity to burn off energy and be able to fully relax. If you think your child might be like this, try to ensure you do more physical things like playing outside, swimming or going for walks in the day to tire their legs out! Hopefully they’ll sleep better! Kids’ yoga is also a good option that you can do close to bedtime.
When it’s time for bed, read a fun book first that you and your child can look through together and then swap to a calming story that you can read in a soothing voice while you encourage your child to keep their eyes closed.
Do your kids struggle to fall asleep? What works for your kids?