Is your toddler not sleeping well at night? Try this ONE change that will help your toddler sleep through the night!
I lined up all six of my young children beside our 12 passenger van.
We were tackling our weekly grocery trip and I could feel the eyeballs.
I read stranger’s lips as they counted…
“One, two, three, four, five, six…”
Then I waited for their exaggerated reactions.
People were amazed that one mom would dare venture out with six children under the age of nine.
But I had a secret…
What was my secret?
I slept well at night.
Even with a three-month and 15 month old in tow, I was a well-rested parent.
And those healthy-looking children?
They were well-rested too.
But it hadn’t always been that way…
Rewind to nine years prior.
My first child was about six months old I could feel my body being worn down by inconsistent sleeping patterns.
I would often fall asleep praying that God would help my son sleep all night.
I even began having very frequent seizures from all sleepless nights.
Something had to change.
For the sake of my mind and body — and for the sake of my son.
How could I get my toddler to sleep through the night?
In my sleepy despair, I remembered that I had once been a teacher in a classroom packed with two-year-olds.
And my main mission?
I had to get every single toddler to successfully and routinely nap.
Every. Single. One.
And when that finally happened,(YAY!) the parents of those same toddlers told me something had changed in their child’s sleeping patterns.
You guessed it.
Their toddlers were sleeping better at night too!
If I could handle eight two-year-olds, certainly I could handle one toddler…and the new little life that was growing inside me! Little did I know I would end up having four more children!
Digging into resources on children and sleeping, I found evidence of something I noticed in those toddlers I had taught years before.
There was one thing that truly affected their nighttime and daytime sleep.
Think I’m crazy?
Check out this quote:
“For the majority of sleep outcomes, we found that completing activities at a regular time better predicted sleep outcomes than the actual time of day that activities were completed,” Natalie Dautovich, lead study author and psychologist at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, told Reuters Health during an interview.
This article in Reuter’s Health also went onto say: Young adults who went to work and ate dinner around the same time every day typically slept better and woke up fewer times during the night. They also fell asleep more quickly at bedtime.
Be careful to note the the first quote mentioned that the routine was more important than the exact time of the activity during the day. That is exactly why in my Sneaky Naptime Course for Toddlers and Preschoolers I emphasize routine above a schedule.
They’re very similar indeed, but routine should be king!
And we’re talking about morning, day and evening routine. It needs to stay the same as often as possible!
Want to go to the park?
Plan it during the activity time in your child’s routine, but make sure that fun activities always revolve around your child’s routine.
Routine’s king, remember?
Most days of a toddler or preschooler should be filled with physical activity, educational activities, healthy meals, lots of learning and bundles of affection.
At the end of these joy-filled days, there should be a full, complete night of rest.
And that full, complete night rest helps the healthy routine cycle continue the next day.
Parents and kids are both refreshed and ready to tackle a brand new day!
A super, simple routine guideline for your family could be the following:
- Get Dressed
- Clean Bedrooms
- Breakfast and brush teeth
- Morning Chores
- Recess/Outside Playtime
- Free time/Play time
- Baths/Brush Teeth
This general routine would be completed day after day, week after week.
Definitely take a few minutes and check out my favorite resource for routines created by two moms. If you truly want to dig deeper into the concept of routines and find which routine works best for your family, this is definitely something you want to read!
It also comes with routines that are divided into specific age groups — GENIUS!
Can there ever be wiggle room in the routine?
Here’s the difference between a routine and a schedule: a schedule is dictated by the tick of a clock, a routine is dictated by the order of daily activities.
If you need to do shopping, begin your routine earlier and make sure you’re back home into for nap time. You can still have lunch out, but make sure you’re home for naps and after naps, continue the routine as usual.
Just use caution when changing up a routine.
Too much flexibility will damage the desired sleepy effects of an established routine and too much dedication to a routine will lead to an incredibly boring and dull life…ha!
After creating routines for each of my six kids, I saw an amazing transformation happen.
We now had a family that was well-rested, predictable and I could still have outings, fun trips and even dates with my husband because our life had a strong foundation of letting routine be KING!
But, I don’t want to just end there…
I want to help you learn how to also get your toddler and preschooler to take successful naps!
It’s awesome if your toddler and preschooler sleeps all night long, but what if your toddler or preschooler also received the daily rest they needed?
I created a course all about toddlers, preschoolers and predictable, successful naps.
It includes nap time reward charts, daily routine cards (because I love routines), daily activity ideas, screen-free activities and more!
I know you’re a busy parent, so this course is crunched into six days. Six days and your child could be successfully napping!
I’ve used this formula time and time again with a 100% success rate!
And do you know what’s super exciting about this course?
After implementing the same techniques I’m sharing with you in this book, my life as a mom of young kids immediately became less stressful. Even on the tougher, everyone is a grump days, I knew that I could make it if I could just push through to naptime!
Naptime isn’t just for kids — it’s for moms too!
After lunch, my toddler or preschooler’s eyelids would begin to flutter and I would not even have to look at the clock to know it was 1 p.m. — naptime. Wouldn’t that be awesome if your toddler and preschooler started doing that every single day at the same time?!
Shopping trips, get-togethers, play-dates and other fun activities become a lot less stressful when you can successfully get your child to nap.
You can schedule trips and fun activities around naptime — or even learn another sneaky option if those activities interfere with naptime!
There’s also an entire lesson dedicated to tips if regression does occur (which can happen due to health issues, emotional disturbances or major life changes.)
May your child’s toddler and preschool days be filled with successful naps and restful nights!
Want to chat about toddlers and naps? Connect with me in our All Things Mommy Group on Facebook! See you there!