How to get toddler back to sleeping through night in big girl bed?
3 weeks ago my 21 mth old was moved into a twin size bed. She slept fine for the first 2 weeks. The third week came and she is back to waking 3 and 4 times a night. How do I help her get back on track?
When my children were this age I found that following a routine worked very well. Bed time should be the same time every night as much as possible. My son simply refers to this as dinner, bath and bed.
When waking up in the middle of the night do a check for wet bed, diaper, etc., speak softly and reassure that everything is okay and be consistent in your routine of putting her back in the bed once you have checked.
A weighted blanket is also supposed to calm and assist in a good night's sleep. This is especially helpful if your child has special needs.
I'm not an expert, but I remember seeing a documentary on how to get kids back to sleep after a bad dream (back in high school in the home ecs class). First of all, she's very young and because of this might have scary dreams. Another thing is that something may have woken her up the first time which made her feel frightened in the deep darkness of the night. In the documentary, the experts said to hug the child, assure him/her there is nothing to worry about and put him/her back to bed. Leave the door ajar and tell the child you are close by if she needs anything. When they feel assured, they usually go back to sleep.
I have raised three children. When they were uneasy in their sleep I could not afford to waste mine because I always had to wake up early, so I would take them to bed with me. That's not the thing to do, because they may become too attached. I didn't have such difficulties. In due time they matured and didn't need me any longer nor has it left any side-effects. (2 boys, 1 girl). Good luck.
Could it be that she wakes up cold? I know this happened to my girls. They get chilled, can really verbalize it and head for the warmest, coziest place on earth - Mom and Dad's bed.
I would try a nightlight and taking her back to her bed. Maybe tuck pillows around her so she feels more secure. Not sure - just ideas off the top of my head. I have to admit I would be tempted to just let her stay in the bed with you--but that is your decision.
As I recall you just moved into another house due to mold in the older one, right? It have to do with new surroundings too.
peeples....I am so impressed with your continual awareness and concern for your children's every need. This is a blaring sign of an excellent Mom. It's been years since I've had to use Mommy skills where toddlers are concerned, but kids don't change much at all, or so I'm told...LOL!
At 21 months old, this issue can be due to about a hundred different things!......Can I just say, by the time you figure out what it might be and come up with a solution, she'll be over it entirely....and on to the next "new" activity!! Bless your heart. I'll just throw in a suggestion, for whatever it's worth.....When your little Angel wakes the first time, after you've done the "potty thing," made sure she's not ill and that she is warm and comfy......Place a chair next to her bed for yourself.....lay her down and stroke her head or rub her back as you sing or talk very softly to her....mostly reminding her it's time to sleep.....when she seems just about to doze off, give her a kiss and quietly exit. Each subsequent night, shorten the length of time you stay, always stating "it's time to sleep."...until the time that you simply pick her up and take her back to her bed....and cover her up, reminding her, "it's time to sleep."
I did this with sons #2 and #3.....and it worked like a charm. If you want to know why it works........I have no clue. The usual "hit or miss," parenting style!!!
I would start with buying a night light. Sometimes night light can be relaxing to a child who is nervous about sleeping alone. Then you may want to expand and buy bedding she enjoys. Try to make her comfortable as possible. Ask her if she's too cold or too warm, adjust the temperature to her liking. Next decorate her room to her liking maybe a new wallpaper, paint color, or maybe a mural.
In the theme of night light you may want to invest in something like a lava lamp anything that gives a soothing glow/light. You may also want to invest in a CD that gives off soothing sounds or music.
You can also read to her. Let her choose her favorite book. I know this use to work for my son when he was young and would not stay asleep in his bed.
I don't know if any of these may work, but these are the only things I can think of.
It is getting her tired out before bed. My daughter always sleep through the night as she occupied herself with activities. A warm milk before sleep will be good as well.
This is a big move for your toddler! Nothing like communication, because they are able and proud to be sleeping in the big bed, but it can feel less secure.
First thing is to establish a short bedtime reading time. Also she needs to have a cuddly toy to look after.
If she has a favourite cuddly toy it is great to have a conversation with her toy while she is holding it in bed, and tell the cuddly toy that the toddler will be looking after him/her during the night. You can do this during the reading time. You can direct your conversation to the toy, telling it that when your toddler is cuddling it the toy should stay in bed all night, because bed is a safe place. In other words the toddler takes responsibility for helping the toy stay in bed, and at the same time she does the same.
Congratulations are important if she manages to have her cuddly stay in bed. Everyone relaxes. As long as you direct the conversation to the toy, there is no opportunity for the toddler to use this in a habit forming way.
I am an early childhood educator, and parent too! Good luck with this.
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