To get your toddler sleeping again, firstly, talk about why it’s important they sleep through the night.

Then ask lots of questions.
If your toddler isn’t old enough to answer your questions, you give the answer as well.

  • Now things are back to normal, what do you need to do all night?

That’s right you need to sleep.

  • Why do you need to sleep?

Yes, so you can be happy in the day!

  • Who else will be happy?

Yes, mummy will be happy too!

  • So what do you need to do when I say goodnight?

Yes, you need to snuggle down and go to sleep.

  • What if you can’t sleep?

Yes, you need to stay in your cot and cuddle your blankie, and close your eyes.

  • And if you wake up in the night, is it ok to call out?

No, you lie down and try to go to sleep
If they can get out of their cot or bed ask:

  • If you do come into our room, what will we do?

Yes, we’ll bring you back to your bed.

  • How will you know when it’s morning?

Yes, Mummy will come in and wake you up.

  • And what will I do if you‘ve slept all night?

Yes, you’ll get a big hug, and I’ll be very happy. And you’ll get your favourite breakfast cereal!

Secondly, stick consistently to a bedtime routine.
Plan what time you’ll do everything – bath, teeth, pyjamas, nappy, story –
If you like to take digital photos of your child doing each step and use them to make a bedtime chart with your child. Then make sure you follow it every night.
Remember to leave them awake in a darkened room, with a drink of water nearby, And everything they need to sleep.

And finally, be consistent about them sleeping in their own bed all night.
At night, be totally boring and say as little as possible.
If your toddler is in a bed, and they come into your room, EVERY TIME, turn them around and guide them back to their bed.
Or –if they’re in a cot, lay them down and go out, and repeat as often as you need to. Extending the visits for a minute each time. So go in after 1 minute, then 2 minutes, then after 3 minutes and so on.
Then in the morning, even if they haven’t slept through, be bright and fun, so your child knows the difference between night and day. And be especially happy if they’ve slept through.

So if your toddler has stopped sleeping through the night:

  1. Ask them lots of questions about sleeping again all night.
  2. Stick to a regular bedtime routine.
  3. And be consistent about them sleeping all night in their cot or bed.

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If you need more than three tips on this – or you’d like to discover the secrets you need to have happy well-behaved, children – please contact me by clicking here. You can arrange a free 20-minute (no obligation) chat to find out if working with me personally (by phone, Skype or face-to-face) would help you and your family. Contact Elizabeth

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

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