Self-Sleep Techniques for Toddlers
Yes, we’re parents of toddlers, but one of the subsets in Index C, under provision 17 from the bottomless job description of our role is professor of behavioral navigation.
It’s a snazzy title with a lot of importance and responsibility.
As your toddler’s cognitive development takes off, situations will arise and with that, a response from your child. Learning which of their actions will be rewarded and which will receive tweaking begins to mold how children regulate moods.
Every single little tike from age 12-36 months old has a different genetic makeup, adorable quirks and individual personalities. What works for one, won’t work for all. That can even be said with multiple children in the same household. But we must try, as our toddler deserves the effort to help them understand emotional responses that will equip them throughout life.
Our reactions during their younger years of development can sometimes shape toddlers' future actions. Often, we may think of this cycle as the other way around, but if we as parents begin slowly changing our mindsets, we can try a different angle to strengthen our toddler’s behavioral selection.
And what better place to practice self-soothing for you and them than during bedtime?
Try slowly and softly integrating the points below, collected from the trained professional at Little Lukes Preschool, a Syracuse toddler daycare, and begin noting positive changes over time.
Establish a Routine
Follow the same evening outline as closely as you can. This will help your toddler to more easily prepare for bed both mentally and physically.
- Dimming lights slowly throughout the house to cue a preset sleep time
- Provide a small snack (without sugar) or warm milk/allergy alternate to create a relaxed state
- Move through the brushing teeth/hygiene process, putting on pjs and story time in the same order every weeknight and weekend
Nurture Good Habits
This is the tricky part. Parents should strive to allow their toddler the room to understand their reactions, within reason of course.
- Don’t rush to your toddler’s bed every time he begins crying
- Avoid relying on driving, rocking or another parent-focused coping mechanism to lull them to sleep every night
- Try not to allow naps too close to bedtime
Setup Your Toddler for Success
To make this process easier on them and you, see which of these comforting techniques your toddler may prefer.
- Snuggle with a favorite stuffed animal
- Encourage your toddler to gently hold their left elbow with their right hand and their right elbow with their left hand. This self-hug also produces a secure feeling
- Tuck them in tightly starting at the feet and moving the blankets around from both sides to feel secure yet making sure there is still a little wiggle room
Self-soothing is an important milestone for toddlers. Although implementing these tips into bedtime won’t see instant result overnight, with a consistent pattern you’ll get there little by little on your toddler’s time.
This free tool is created by Little Lukes Preschool, a Syracuse toddler daycare provider, with five locations. Little Lukes is an early education program whose credentialed and caring staff specializes in comprehensive infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten development. Additional services include speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy for babies, toddlers and preschool children.
Schedule a Tour
Call or go online to schedule a tour at the leading Syracuse toddler daycare facility and experience the difference for yourself.