Are you finding yourself frustrated that all of a sudden your child has no ability to sleep by themselves? If you are struggling with sleep issues for your toddler or preschooler, I’m going to share the number one reason why they are struggling to sleep independently!
Together, we are going to walk through a four-step plan to reverse your child’s sleep issues. Also, I am going to tell you the number one reason your child cannot sleep by themselves.
Why am I qualified to tell you this? I have been a sleep consultant for nearly seven years. I’ve worked with over 500 families in a one-on-one capacity. Over 15,000 families have been a part of my online sleep courses. And I have talked with countless families about their toddler and their preschooler sleep.
The number one reason that your child is unable to sleep by themselves is confidence. They have no confidence that they can get in bed by themselves, close their eyes, and fall asleep. It’s simply a lack of confidence.
In this blog post and video, I’m going to share a four-step process that will help your child gain confidence so that they can get into their bed and fall asleep within 15 minutes. They will also feel peace at bedtime and gain confidence about sleeping alone.
These steps and strategies will work from 18 months all the way up to elementary school.
The first step towards building confidence is positive phrases. I want you to watch the way that you’re interacting with your child during the evening time. If you have anxiety about bedtime, your child will associate bedtime with fear. You might have faced hour-long bedtime routines and dread bedtime. I want you to find a way to look forward to bedtime! How can you do that?
Listen to music during bathtime. Have some special rituals or songs only sung at bedtime. Tell your child about the GREAT day they are going to have the next day! Make bedtime a positive experience!
The second step towards building your child’s confidence in sleep is teaching them how to sleep well. How do you teach a preschooler or a toddler how to sleep? Well, I have a free tool for you. We have a free bedtime card that teaches your child what we’re supposed to do at bedtime. It will teach your child what’s expected of them during bedtime. You can get the cards out at bedtime to talk to them about falling asleep—closing their eyes, being quiet, and laying down. Eventually, things will begin to click!
When they start to go through these cards with you together, they start to put the puzzle pieces of sleep together!
I am all about rewards, but here’s what to avoid. Don’t tell your toddler or your preschooler that when they lay on their bed, close their eyes, and stay quiet, they will receive a new shiny magical toy after a week. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Children need instant gratification. So we’re actually going to give them rewards within the night. Okay? So whether this reward is giving them a kiss because they’re doing a good job being quiet, getting a bandaid (why do kids like bandaids so much!) because they are laying down, or positive praise, let them know they are doing a good job.
Or maybe in the morning, they get to watch a show right after breakfast! Whatever it is, build rewards and excitement in your child’s sleep routines to motivate them.
My fourth step is to be patient. It can take about 3 to 4 weeks for a child to sleep independently with confidence with these new nighttime habits. A bonus step—don’t start to implement any of these steps until you know that you can be home with them for a good solid three weeks. Avoid starting this when you have travel plans or nights away from home.
As you work through building your child’s confidence up, I want you to understand how much sleep they need during the nighttime. A toddler and preschooler need anywhere between 10 to 12 hours throughout the night of solid sleep. With this four-step plan, you can help your child get the sleep he or she needs!
First of all, have a positive attitude about the night and use our free bedtime cards so that your child can understand what’s expected of them. Build-in some positive rewards and be patient with them as you work to build positive sleep habits. Then I want you to make sure that you are building some positive rewards with them.
Be encouraged that you are on the right track and just keep at it. And, don’t forget to grab our bedtime cards!
Sweet dreams. See you next time.
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