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Tips & Tricks On How To Get a Toddler To Sleep

Written by Nicholas Crusie — January 19, 2021

Tips & Tricks On How To Get a Toddler To Sleep

On average, it is suggested that toddlers aged 1 to 3 years old get approximately 10 to 13 hours of sleep per day. This range is considered the right amount of time for that age group to rest their minds and recharge for the following day.


Parents around the world grapple with their child’s sleeplessness all the time. Not enough snoozing can negatively impact your baby’s mood, and we all know that certainly won’t boost yours. 


If you have a stubborn baby, and nothing seems to get them down for a nap, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll have your little one dozing off in no time. 

Comfy Little Cushion


Sometimes putting your toddler somewhere other than their crib can help them drift off into slumber. A youth micro fur chair just may be the solution to your problem! 


These mini bean bag chairs are the perfect size for any tot to get comfy (and sleepy). Sooner or later, your child is bound to associate the chair with naptime, and they’ll fall asleep without even noticing. 


Our favorite part about these chairs is that they can convert into a small bed! 


This feature is perfect for nap time at family and friends’ houses, as well as sleepovers with their little friends. With bed measurements of 60 in. x 60 in. x 4 in., two children fit perfectly. 


Because this bean bag chair is so light (only 20 pounds), it can be placed right in your car’s trunk for any trip. It doesn’t take up much room, and we think you’ll find it makes a big difference.


Another great feature of this chair is it’s safe for little ones because it doesn’t compress. Due to its polyurethane foam stuffing, this big cushion keeps shape forever. 


We know how dangerous it can be to place a small child on any type of collapsible furniture. And that’s why this one doesn’t budge at all


Fair warning: once you see how snug your toddler is on this chair, you’re probably going to want your own. Thankfully, these chairs come in other sizes too, like full, queen, and even king!

Routine Schedule


One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to have as routine of a schedule as possible. The more consistent you are, the better the results will be. It’s important your toddler naps around the same time(s) each day.


The best time of day for a nap will differ from child to child. Don’t feel pressured to have your naps at a different time than some random Google search tells you. 

Get All That Energy Out


One way to kickstart an everyday routine is making sure you have energetic playtime before you put them down. This could be as simple as toybox games, or as detailed as arts and crafts. 


These activities are sure to have your toddler feeling tuckered out just in time for a nap. Plus, an activity a day can really help your child blossom—in both a creative sense and an academic sense.

A Full Stomach Can Cause Discomfort


Mealtime or snacktime may be too close to nap time. While your little one shouldn’t be going to sleep hungry, no one likes feeling stuffed as they try to fall asleep. 


Some research has shown that going to bed with a full stomach can cause some indigestion and, in some cases, even nightmares.


Timing is key here. Just as we discussed above, routine goes hand in hand with consistency. If your child is napping at the same times each day, it will be easy to feed them at the same times each day. 


We suggest something along the lines of this pattern for a nighttime routine:

  1. Mealtime
  2. Play Time
  3. Bath Time
  4. Story/Song Time
  5. Bedtime 

Sleep—But First, Bath Time


A nice, warm bath is key. Getting squeaky clean can reduce any tension or crankiness your toddler is feeling before bedtime. This soothing ritual will allow your child to fully unwind and switch gears.

Books and Songs


Reading bedtime stories and singing sleep time songs with your toddler could bring them to a snooze. Once you introduce this regularly scheduled bonding time, they will naturally look forward to it each night.


Some children prefer shorter stories so they can hear a couple each night. Others enjoy a slow, long read—and many of them aren’t awake by the end of the tale. 


The sweetest part about singing bedtime songs with your toddler is how long they’ll remember those tunes. For all you know, a certain song could be so special for your child that they sing their own toddler to sleep with it one day. 


Music inspires children to learn the meaning of words, the importance of taking turns, and the fun of having social skills. 


It’s important you give your child just the right amount of authority when it comes to their bedtime routine. For example, they are allowed to choose which stories to read and which songs to sing, but they can only choose two per night. 


If you don’t set some simple rules from the get-go, you might find yourself reading eight books and singing ten songs before your little one passes out. At this age children are coming out of their shell, and structure is important.

Dimly Lit Space


If you’re having trouble getting your baby to sleep during the day, you might be having them nap in too light of a room. 


In order to create sort of a nighttime simulation, you’re going to need a dimmer. Most, if not all, dimmer switches can be purchased at an affordable price and found either online or at a home improvement store. 


Another option would be investing in a cute nightlight. Finding a fun-looking nightlight will have your toddler in awe. They’ll be so excited about their nightlight that they’ll look forward to naptime and bedtime!

Drive Them Around The Block


Taking your toddler for a spin around the neighborhood is a classic trick. 


How does this work so well? Some scientists suggest the constant yet slight motion of the car ride paired with the low humming of the engine may remind our children of the life they once lived while in the womb.


Just keep in mind that no sleep-deprived toddler wants to be driven over potholes and speed bumps. If you can, make sure the route is smooth and slow. Otherwise, the car could make matters worse!


As always, there is something you can buy that seems to help. Many parents are choosing to put a headrest mirror on the seat which faces their toddler. Not only does this help you check on your baby, but it can also help them get a good look at you from time to time. 


Seeing your face in the mirror as the car cruises down the road will give your child a sense of security and comfort. The calmer they feel, the faster they nod off. 


All things considered, always remember to keep your eyes on the road. Being safe behind the wheel is crucial—you have precious cargo to protect!

White Noise


Road trips aren’t the only answer to sleepless toddlers. White noise can help too. 


What’s white noise? It’s a sound made up of several different frequencies that all have the same intensity. It is usually described as a light “sh” noise. 


Listening to white noise can help put your baby to sleep, especially if you live in a busy area with plenty of neighborhood noise. The sense of meaningless commotion that it conveys will drown out all other ambience, sending your toddler off to La La Land in just minutes. 


While there are a million and one white noise machines to buy, you don’t have to spend money to get that sound. There are free YouTube videos that play white noise for hours at a time, or you can always use a regular plug-in fan that you already own. 

  • Tip 1: Keep your child about 7 feet away from the source of the white noise, as this will guarantee their hearing is fully protected as they listen. 
  • Tip 2: Only use white noise in special scenarios when all else has truly failed. You don’t want your toddler so used to white noise that they can’t sleep without it! 

In Summary


Toddlers may give us a run for our money and our energy, but watching them grow is worth the price. As your toddler starts to express themselves more and more, their personality really starts to show during this special age. 


Yes, it may be exhausting trying to get them to rest their eyes for an hour or so. But like everyone always says, they grow up so fast. Try some high-energy activities, a warm bath, and a nice sunset drive. Before you know it, you’ll wish they were this young again!


Lastly, you know your baby best. Try new things and see what sticks. 


*It is not recommended to leave small children on the beanbag chair unsupervised.  The chair is breathable so they shouldn't suffocate but we just want to be covered unless a parent puts a 1 year old on the chair, they fall asleep, fall off, and break an arm or something.

Sources:


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/books/best-bedtime-stories-baby-toddler.html
 

https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development#:~:text=Music%20ignites%20all%20areas%20of,sounds%20and%20meanings%20of%20words

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1514-beyond-twinkle-twinkle-using-music-with-infants-and-toddlers 

https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=645&language=english