Bedtime with a toddler can be a bit of a potluck situation. In some household’s I am sure that a warm bath followed by a snuggle and a book is all that it takes to get a restless toddler relaxed and ready for a long nights sleep.
In our household, not so much.
Our little one is two and is not much of a sleeper. She struggles to switch off her busy little mind no matter how calm we make evenings nor how much exercise she has during the day. She wakes every two hours and although we have read and discussed many ways to train her to sleep better, we have just adjusted our lives around this and hope (oh how I hope) that she will grow out of it herself.
The regular waking can be really tough. Jodi Mindell, a pediatric sleep expert states: ‘We all wake up in the middle of the night. These nighttime awakenings are usually so brief that we don’t remember them in the morning. But every once in a while, something will cause us to have trouble falling back to sleep — then we toss and turn, get a glass of water, or try reading or watching TV. This is your toddler’s situation, except that what he wants to help him fall asleep again is you.’
We have tried making bedtime later – bizarrely resulting in an earlier wake up (I mean come on…) – warm drinks, no drinks, long baths, no screen time, no sugar and all to no avail.
All official advice tends to end with the reassurance that ‘it won’t last forever’, which I do believe, but I’d still love to hear how you help your little one switch off!