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Top 5 Sleep Tips for Infants and Toddlers

Updated on August 3, 2014

Getting Babies and Toddlers to Sleep Through the Night

Bedtime can be a tough time for parents and young children. Disconnecting from the stimulation of the outside world and moving into quiet time, temperature regulation, fears of being alone in the dark, nightmares, growing pains and weaning are just a few of the challenges that children and parents have to work through in the first five years of childhood. In this lens I'll share some great tips for getting your kids to sleep without struggling and with a lot of fun!

My mother had five children and had us all sleeping through the night by our second month! (She fed us cereal with formula very early...not totally recommended at such an early age). My own two children were almost a year and a half old before they slept through the night. I don't recommend that! My toughest times were colic, teething, weaning, illness, bad dreams and overstimulation. I wish I knew then what I know now.

Photo credit from AllPosters

By What Age Can a Baby Sleep Through The Night? - Every child is different

No right or wrong answers here! If you have more to add on this subject please add a comment.

By what age did your children sleep through the night?

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Overstimulation

Tip #1: Eliminate Sensory Overwhelm

What is Sensory Overwhelm?

And how does it affects babies' and toddlers' ability to sleep

Sensory overwhelm is when the senses of touch, sight, hearing, or smelling are overstimulated, keeping a baby or toddler awake. It can also lead to tantrums (to release pent up energy), and not being able to switch off the conscious mind. There are many ways to balance the senses and make it easier for babies to sleep including a soothing bath with lavender essential oil (calms the nervous system), soft music, and massage. Rocking is also a great way to soothe a babies nervous system.

Rocking Chairs are Soothing - Great for reading as well!

Rocking chairs are great for soothing the nervous system. Often they put me to sleep before my son! Putting your feet up after a long day of running around after a toddler can help you relax as well. And that's key to getting your child to relax...your own relaxation!

Stork Craft Tuscany Glider and Ottoman, Espresso/Beige
Stork Craft Tuscany Glider and Ottoman, Espresso/Beige

* Featuring metal, enclosed ball bearings for a smooth glide motion to help you unwind

* Generous seating room with padded arms and arm cushions, with a pocket to store your belongings

* The back and seat cushions are spot cleanable, keeping the look clean and fresh all year long

* This is the ultimate glider and ottoman combination for any room in your house

* Some assembly required

Save 45% on this beautiful chair.

 

Sleeping with Kids

It's an endless debate. Sometimes it's "in" to sleep with your kids and sometimes it's a cultural thing.

Are you a fan of kids sleeping with their parents?

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Colic, Teething, Growing Pains

Tip #2: Discover Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathy Help for Colic, Teething, and Growing Pains - Gentle relief for babies and toddlers to sleep through the night

Homeopathic remedies are great to help calm, ease growing or teething pains and more. Gentle and soothing help for babies and toddlers.

A growing number of children today are having a tough time getting a good night's rest. In fact, according to a 2004 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, about 69 percent of kids age 10 and under suffer from some sort of sleep problem, and three percent of pre-school and school-aged children experience frequent nightmares. Parents are not only worried about finding ways to help their kids ease their stress and sleeplessness - they are also losing sleep themselves.

Hyland's Homeopathic - Calms Forte 4 Kids - 125 tablets
Hyland's Homeopathic - Calms Forte 4 Kids - 125 tablets

Hyland's Calms Forte 4 Kids combines 8 botanical remedies to meet the needs of children suffering from symptoms related to nervous tension, sleeplessness, and restlessness. This homeopathic medicine for children aged 2 years and older also relieves other symptoms that can inhibit children from sleeping well, including night terrors, growing pains and sleeplessness from vacation travel. A calmative solution to restlessness, Hyland's Calms Forte 4 Kids comes in easy-to-administer tablets that dissolve almost instantly in the mouth.

 

Restless Sleeping - Homeopathic solutions that help relieve teething discomfort naturally

My mother used to say that for teething you could rub brandy on the gums. Leaving the "alcohol" aside, I don't like brandy myself so why would I give it to one of my children? Luckily there are some excellent homeopathic remedies both in pills and gel form to help with teething. And don't forget having a toy to "chew" on can help soothe a child as well.

Colic Babies - The dreaded colic

Colic can kick in around 3 weeks for a baby and seems to last the first two or three months. When a baby is screaming its head off for hours, it is painful on you as well. Your own sensory overwhelm (your ears!) and sleep deprivation can make you more tense feeding the baby's frustration and pain. Walking or rocking with the baby while patting firmly on his or her back can help, sort of. Also light tummy massage before the discomfort starts is also helpful. Be careful of the umbilical cord at this age which is still healing.

Colic-Calm Homeopathic Gripe Water,Relief of Gas, Colic and Upset Stomach 2 Fluid Ounce
Colic-Calm Homeopathic Gripe Water,Relief of Gas, Colic and Upset Stomach 2 Fluid Ounce

The Homeopathic Gripe Water that WORKS! Symptomatic Relief of COLIC, GAS and REFLUX. Colic Calm is the ONLY gripe water that delivers: (i)FDA Regulated and Registered Medicine, unlike common dietary supplements (ii) Safe and 100% Natural (iii) No Side Effects (iv) Manufactured in the USA using only the highest quality natural ingredients (v) Completely free of alcohol, sugar, simethicone, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), herbal oils and extracts, citric acid, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, and animal products.

 

Colic Relief for Babies - Try different colic products

Colic, a form of intestinal distress, is caused by a number of things including gas. Sometimes it just takes a while for the whole gastrointestinal trac to get working well (it's not doing any work prior to birth). Each baby responds differently so if one thing isn't working such as homeopathy try something else.

Baby Sleep Deprivation

Tip #3: Create Quiet Bedtime Rituals and Protect Naptime

Reading, Singing and More

Be consistent with rhythms and time

Stay away from video movies and TV for toddlers, especially in the evening, as the flickering lights affect their brain waves including sleep rhythms. Have special books and songs that are just nighttime rituals. Having the same rituals at the same time every night is especially calming for children...if maybe a bit boring for us! For an especially restless baby or toddler start with a soothing bath, and calming massage with a great oil. Then cuddle time while rocking, reading or listening to music.

Great Books for Infants and Toddlers - Keep special ones just for bed time

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes...

A board book for babies or toddlers and their parents, featuring a well-known nursery rhyme and interactive text.

 
The Going-To-Bed Book
The Going-To-Bed Book

For a little one who is reluctant to go to bed, sometimes a silly book is just the ticket. And when it comes to silly books, Sandra Boynton is the undisputed queen. In The Going to Bed Book, an ark full of animals watches the sun go down and then prepares for bed. They take a bath ("in one big tub"), find pajamas, brush their teeth, do exercises up on deck (imagine an elephant jumping rope, a moose lifting weights, and a pig doing handstands), and finally say good night.

 

Massage Oil for Babies and Toddlers - Use in a bath or after a bath

You can add some drops of this natural oil to a bath or massage a baby or toddler after a bath. The lavender is very calming for the nervous system. Bath and massage also calms and soothes the baby or toddler's sense of touch.

Sweet B. Soothing Baby Oil, Lavender , 8-Ounce Bottle
Sweet B. Soothing Baby Oil, Lavender , 8-Ounce Bottle

Made with pure Safflower Oil and Vitamin E to smooth and soften baby's skin

Infused with Lavender Essential Oil for its calming aromatherapy benefits

For a loving massage, gently rub a small amount of this oil with soft, long strokes over baby's legs and feet, maintaining continuous contact, move up to tummy and chest, then rub the shoulders and arms. Watch baby relax

No dyes, no fragrances, no TEA or DEA, no sulfates, no parabens, no petroleum, no mineral oil, no silicone, no formaldehyde and no carbomer? just the good stuff!

 

Eliminate Sleep Deprivation - Uninterrupted napping and bedtimes

More children are leaving the home to go to daycare or nursery school. Waking them up to get into a car interrupts their sleep patterns. This book covers how to handle these kinds of challenges.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child / Your Fussy Baby
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child / Your Fussy Baby

This valuable sourcebook contains brand new research that

- Pinpoints the way daytime sleep differs from night sleep and why both are important to your child

- Helps you cope with and stop the crybaby syndrome, nightmares, bedwetting, and more

- Analyzes ways to get your baby to fall asleep according to his internal clock--naturally

- Explores the different sleep cycle needs for different temperaments--from quiet babies to hyperactive toddlers

- Emphasizes the significance of a nap schedule

 

Baby and Toddler Illness or Bad Dreams

Tip #4: Make Some Magic!

Make a Pillow or Blanket Have Magical Powers

Toddlers love magical objects that can help them sleep

Growing up, my mom had a special blanket that had been her mother's. It was an old lap blanket that was very soft, from the days of cars with no heat. She called it the "Magic Sleep Blanket" and we got it when we were sick or something had upset us and was interrupting our sleep. We totally believed that it would help us sleep and that was enough to make the magic happen!

Pick out a special pet pillow or blanket (or a stuffed animal) and make it your "magic sleep" item.

Magic Sleep Pillows and Blankets

My Pillow Pets Miss Lady Bug 11"
My Pillow Pets Miss Lady Bug 11"

* Perfect for everyone 3+

* Machine washable fluff dry

* Extra snuggly

* Great for travel

* Conforms to ASTN and EN71 regulations

18" plush by My Pillow Pet. Extra cuddly Ladybug is made of soft red and black plush. Open the velcro closure and use as a pillow. Close the velcro closure and you have the softest pet ever.

 

A Special Blanket for Uncomfortable Nights - As Magical as they come!

Sarah's Silks Rainbow Baby Blanket
Sarah's Silks Rainbow Baby Blanket

* Recommended for Newborns and Older

* A Special Gift For Newborns That Often Becomes A Child's Special Blankie.

* Generously Sized At 40.0 x 40.0 Inches

* Made Of 100% Silk and Cotton Flannel; Hand Wash In Cold Water, Line Dry, Iron On Low As Needed

* Made In The USA Of Chinese Silk

 

Weaning

Tip #5: Weaning To Help Sleep Through The Night

Best Age for Weaning - Everyone has a different opinion!

When do you think is the best time to wean?

See results

Weaning To Promote Sleeping Through The Night - Toddlers who become dependent on breastfeeding to soothe at night can keep waking up

As wonderful as breast feeding is, it is one of the biggest reasons a toddler (over 1) has interrupted sleep at night. By that age it becomes more about soothing than it does food (assuming you've introduced solid foods at that point). Making the shift from feeding at night to sleeping at night is a tough one...here are some excellent books on the subject.

Collective wisdom from parents is the best! Add yours here...

It's Your Turn! - What are your tips for getting kids to sleep?

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    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 5 years ago from Czech Republic

      Very nice lens! We often use yoga ball - gentle bouncing works the best! Take care!

    • ddunkin23 profile image

      ddunkin23 5 years ago

      My wife and I actually use a yoga ball to bounce her to sleep. Great lens. I think I will buying the giraffe for sure.

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Lovely way to involve people in your lens.

    • profile image

      shishuworld 5 years ago

      Great lens.. very good tips..

    • BSieracki profile image

      Bernie 6 years ago from Corbin, KY

      a hot toddie always made me sleep good when i was young.

    • profile image

      cmaethom1991 6 years ago

      no wisdom here (yet!) but great lens, thanks!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 6 years ago

      I like bedtime stories and limiting prebed activities. Informative, enjoyable lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      ohbeauty 6 years ago

      Very great tips.

    • profile image

      dr_kirans4 6 years ago

      Train the children to go to sleep at the same time everyday and getting ready to go to bed should be a process before you have the child in the bed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Parents all over the world are singing your praises.

    • njoylife42day profile image

      njoylife42day 7 years ago

      I really like "magic sleep" item!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Kids change so these tips are continually useful

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Lots of great tips here!

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Very informative and well put together lens which is blessed by a passing Squid Angel :-)

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Very informative and well put together lens which is blessed by a passing Squid Angel :-)

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 7 years ago

      My first two babies were qucik to learn to sleep through the night (without using the crying it out method). but this new one will not get it. Ugh! Thanks for the tips!

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image
      Author

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      @GonnaFly: Baby sleep AND clean the house...perfect combo!

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image
      Author

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      @paperfacets: Thanks for the congrats..but they are a bit ahead of what's actually happened! But maybe you're psychic!!!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Great tips here. A friend of mine used to run the vacuum cleaner to send her baby to sleep. I think the noise was soothing!!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Balloons and Confetti for celebration. TierOne! This has very good information. My daughter had bad dreams just after falling asleep in the evening. Now because of reading this I know it was sensory overwhelm. I did figure out that turning the night light off stopped the dreams about the bunny biting her toes.

      How exciting about reaching the goal. I want the 31st to roll around to see how challengers slip in to Tier One.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image
      Author

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      @jp1978: Congrats! and good luck...

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Very good tips for helping infants and toddlers sleep. ...Over-stimulation creates an anxious person in the long run, and that makes teaching calming techniques to be quite imperative.

    • jp1978 profile image

      jp1978 7 years ago

      This is going to come in handy in a few months.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      How about some of those CDs made for helping babies sleep? I used to get my hyperactive daughter to sleep by playing Pink Floyd for her... and a few other children's tapes we had back then.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      Such a great lens for new parents! My sons slept through the night at a very early age, but my daughter is a completely different story. Of course, there is a bit of an age difference between them. Good luck with the tier 1 challenge.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image
      Author

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      @myraggededge: Tip #6! Honor your own children's rhythms. Thanks for reminding us.

    • profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      My now 9 year old daughter has been an insomniac since the day she was born. I don't remember one single night where she would snuggle down and go to sleep. Nowadays, she is awake, but quiet, until midnight every night. We tried everything but now just let her get on with it.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image
      Author

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      @CCGAL: Patting on the back was a favorite of my kids, too!

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image
      Author

      gia combs-ramirez 7 years ago from Montana

      @MagpieNest: Good alternative to sleeping with a baby or toddler in your bed.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 7 years ago

      Wonderful tips and many I used myself when my kids were small.

    • MagpieNest profile image

      MagpieNest 7 years ago

      Both kids (age 2 and 3) still like a parent there while they go to sleep so after storytime we just stay in the room and quietly do stuff on our phones/laptops. They both happily go to sleep this way and we enjoy the time to read or get stuff done. Lazy, but it works for us!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      It's been awhile (my kids are 28 and 32) but I used to pat them on the back and sing to them. The only time we had any trouble at bedtime was when my daughter was colicky, and then she liked being held so that her head rested on a shoulder, and being walked and talked to in a soft voice.