Last month I wrote a blog post on infant sleep training and Graco’s Dual-Comfort Natural Bamboo Foam Crib and Toddler Mattress that you can find on Storkcraft’s website! If you missed it, you can click on this link to read all about it http://theparentologist.com/lets-talk-about-sleep-training-storkcraft/
This month I am focusing on some tips to help your toddler sleep better at night. Raise your hand if your toddler sleeps in your bed at some point throughout the night? Well, I am fairly certain that almost all of you, including myself, have raised your hand. My daughter started climbing out of her crib at 18 months and since then it has been a constant struggle for her to sleep in her own bed at night. Once she was able to walk and talk, there was no turning back.
Babies are contained in their cribs, but toddlers are not. Babies cry, but when toddlers put those tears into words and yell “mommy” at the top of their lungs for you it’s a whole new ballgame! Here are some things we have tried over the last couple of years that may help you and your toddler get a better night’s sleep! These ideas don’t work for everyone since there are so many sleep philosophies, but they may help! Because having a foot to the face in the middle of the night isn’t exactly the nicest way to wake up from a deep sleep! Wait, who am I kidding? I’m a mom, what is deep sleep? I’ll have to ask my husband. J
- Put a baby gate in your toddler’s doorway. By putting a baby gate in their doorway, they aren’t able to leave their room. Make sure you baby proof your child’s room so there is no way they can get hurt before implementing this plan. Cover the plugs. Secure the furniture to the wall. And make sure they can open the door if they need to call for you or better yet, keep the baby monitor in their room so you can communicate and even listen and watch them anytime you want! If a baby gate is in their doorway, and they wake up, they may just go back to bed, knowing they cannot leave. They may even feel safer and more contained than having a big doorway where anyone real or imaginary can come and go. And if they do cry for you, you just do what you did when they were infants and go to them. This will be easier to put them back in their own bed because chances are once they climb into your bed, no one is leaving!
- Use a Sticker Chart. Positive reinforcement and sticker charts work wonders for toddlers. Start small and give them a sticker for a time frame they can achieve. For example, if they can typically stay in their bed for an hour, then start giving a sticker every 45 minutes they are able to successfully sleep in their bed. Eventually they will work their way up to getting one sticker for sleeping in their bed the entire night, but they are small, so start small. Make sure the goal is measurable and achievable. And yes, longer sleeping habits equal less stickers but the rewards can get bigger and better, too. Start with something small like 5 minutes of play time on the computer or staying up 5 minutes later past their bedtime. For every sticker they earn, they get a kiss and hug from you. Or for every 5 stickers they get something bigger, 10 stickers, etc. Rewards don’t have to cost money, but you can have fun with this and even include prizes like a cookie or ice cream, a trip to the park, or even a movie or mini golf!
- Stick to a Consistent Routine. Following through is one of the best ways to sleep train a child. Toddlers like to know what to expect and do better with structure and familiarity. We typically do a bath, read books, and say a prayer before bed each night. Doing a bedtime routine in the same order at the same time each night will help their internal clock physically and mentally prepare them for bed. And it’s up to you how you phase out of the room. You can try leaving them in their room alone to practice self regulation or you can stay next to their bed until they fall asleep. But before you leave, if they are awake, let them know that you’ll be back to check on them. Even if that means you’ll check on them from the comfort of your own bed through the monitor, they will feel a sense of security knowing that you are nearby and watching over them. And if and when they do wake up and come to your bed, walk them back to their bed each and every time. You will be tired the first few nights of doing this, but this behavior should soon phase out. They will learn that you mean business and want to comply.
- Implement a Wake Up System. I suggest buying an OK to Wake alarm clock for your toddler. There are many different brands and styles but they are generally the same in that they will glow one color when your child is supposed to stay in their room during the night and glow a different color when it’s ok to leave the room in the morning. Just visit your local store or shop online for a toddler alarm clock. Many different price points will be available for you to choose from. There is one that you can even manage from your phone! No matter which one you choose, make sure you teach your child what the colors mean so they learn when they are supposed to stay in the room and when they are supposed to come see you. Toddlers really love these and sometimes will wake up and stay in their room wide awake looking at their clock or playing quietly until it changes color. They will innately want to please you and this makes the whole sleeping in their own bed thing a little more fun!
So going back to getting a good night’s sleep, make sure you have a good quality mattress for your child. Graco’s new Natural Organic Crib and Toddler Mattress will help do the trick (#ad)! And then, as a parent, you can rest assured your child is sleeping on a safe, durable, and good quality mattress. You can be certain that when you buy something from Storkcraft it’s great quality!
“Since its founding in 1945, Storkcraft has been keeping babies safe for over 70 years and has provided families with affordable, innovative, and quality furniture that will be with you every step of the way!”
I love that this mattress has five inches of natural foam and is made of high quality, natural, soybean oil materials and has a dye-free organic cotton cover. The cover is removeable for an easy clean and has a water resistant lining! Trust me, this will come in handy when your child is potty training! One side of the mattress is firmer for infants and the other side is softer for toddlers. Make sure the mattress is on the right side for each age, because it will make a difference! This double-sided mattress will grow with your child as they grow, which will save you money in the long run! But speaking of price, did I mention that this mattress is affordable at just over $100? That’s a steal for an organic mattress! And it’s so soft! I’ve even laid on it myself and it’s very comfortable!
And as a mom, I love that the mattress is anti-static and anti-microbial and free of lead and phthalates. Safety is always first in my book and this mattress meets or exceeds all safety and flammability standards. Plus it has a 6-year manufacturer warranty! To shop this mattress please visit https://storkcraftdirect.com/products/natural-organic-foam-crib-toddler-mattress/
For more information about Storkcraft and their products including cribs, mattresses, gliders, changing tables, dressers, safety gates, and more, please visit their website https://storkcraftdirect.com
To shop the Storkcraft Portofino 4-in-1 Convertible Crib and Changer in Espresso crib we have used for both of our children please visit https://storkcraftdirect.com/products/portofino-4-in-1-convertible-crib-changer/ The changing table is attached to the crib and can transform into a toddler bed. I personally researched so many cribs when my first child was born and I specifically chose this one based on the stellar safety measures, convenience, and price.
Thank you Storkcraft for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.