Helping your toddler to sleep

My son is 18 months old and I realised that I have not slept through the night for almost 2 years now. I'm including from about 6 months into my pregnancy because numerous bathroom breaks were a very real thing in my life.

Now granted he's not getting up to feed and we're up for hours but he still gets niggly and needs he's dummy because he's flung it to the far reaches of the room. So I have to get up to retrieve it, or change him because his nappy has leaked (again!) or rescue him from rolling off his bed.

As any mother trying to keep her sanity, I took to Twitter to complain where I learned that it was not going to end any time soon. 

But sometimes their is that one glorious night where I only had to put his dummy back in once and I wonder what I did right. Here are some of our bedtime rituals that may help you out:

Bath time

Bath time is a fun time! There's a lot of bubbles and splashing and tiring him out. The warm water also helps relax the muscles so much so that they turn to spaghetti when trying to get him out of the bath. I've tried giving my son a massage after his bath but he is not about that life - he really doesn't know what he's missing out on but his loss. But if your child will lie still enough for a massage, try giving them one in an attempt to relax them into a sleep induced state. 

Quiet time and low lights

After he's been put into his pyjamas we turn the big lights off and just have the side lamps on. All the noisy toys are put away and we get out some bedtime stories to read. Current favourites are The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child and various Dr Seuss books.

White noise

After he's had his bedtime bottle and he's laying down to go to sleep, I use a white noise app to help lull him to sleep. We use one called Rain Sounds, I love the sound of rain falling and it's so calming that sometimes I fall asleep lying next to him. We never went for the cry-it-out sleep training and it's turned out well for us because by the time we get to that point in the evening all I want to do is lie down and unwind on my bed anyway.

I've still to figure out the key to getting him to not waking during the night. But then I remember that sometimes adults don't even really sleep through the night. We get up for bathroom breaks or for some or other reason but we can drift off again and babies are still learning this skill. And it might come down to sleep associations and self-soothing. And while we've got a handle on the sleep associations (dummy, cuddle toy, white noise), he's yet to master the art of the elusive self-soothing.

But in the mean time, please tell me at what age do your kids start not needing mommy in the night?

How do you get your kids to go to sleep?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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