6 Ways to Help Your Baby or Toddler Stay Asleep At Night

Does your toddler or baby need help sleeping through the night?

I cannot count the times a mom has asked me these questions:

How can I get my baby back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night?

How can I get my toddler to stay asleep?

how to help babies and toddlers sleep through the night
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Some of these exhausted mothers had babies who were four months old and some had kids who were four years old!

Their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers were waking anywhere from one to three times per night — every night.

Is your baby or toddler waking up during the night? Here's simple ways to get your toddler or baby to sleep through the night...every night!

I feel for these moms because a good night’s rest is so important for a busy mom — without it moms can get downright cranky.

Toddlers, Babies, and Moms Need Sleep

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers need well-rested nights too.

These techniques work for babies, toddlers and even preschoolers that are struggling with staying asleep at night.

But before we dig in, I have some REALLY exciting news to share with you!

If mom and baby are rested — everyone is a winner!

If you’re struggling with your toddler sleeping at night, you also may be struggling with your toddler taking naps too — right?

Here’s some happy news: there’s a course for that!

teach toddlers to sleep

An awesome, super-fun, and simple course that helps toddlers and preschoolers begin routinely and successfully napping in only six days!

Yep — SIX DAYS!

And it comes with a large group of printables to help kids and parents stay nap time focused.

Just LOOK at all those printables!

toddler waking up at night

And guess what?

Kids who nap better during the day often sleep better at night.

It’s absolutely true!

Day and night sleep patterns are definitely connected!

Check out the Sneaky Six Day Naptime Course for Toddlers and Preschoolers today!

Back to your baby or toddler sleeping at night…:)

Simple changes to your routine can have your little one snoozing regularly in as little as one week — of course, there are always exceptions, most of which are due to health issues.

get babies and toddlers to sleep all night

But the typical, healthy baby or toddler will benefit greatly from these changes.

Try them and see!

Note: These ideas are not for newborns or babies under four months of age. These only work for babies ages four months up until preschool age.

Also, if your baby, toddler, or preschooler awakes with a sharp, wincing scream ignore all the below and check for long hairs tied around fingers or toes, nightmares, soiled diapers, etc.

Never ignore a painful cry!

But these tips are NOT for the faint at heart.

how to teach babies and toddlers to sleep all night

Toddlers and Preschoolers Need Their Sleep!

Guiding your child into a healthy sleeping pattern is one of those things in which you have to decide that adequate rest is absolutely necessary for your child’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

It’s the same reasoning behind making your kids eat healthy food instead of donuts and marshmallows at every meal.

Sure, your little munchkin may not like these ideas initially, but eventually, your child will enjoy the benefits of a lifestyle that’s full of healthy sleep!

In fact, your entire family will reap health benefits from a young child who routinely sleeps through the night!

And healthy sleep transforms fussy, unpredictable children into well-rounded kiddos!

Well, it’s only a piece of that happy child puzzle, but it’s a HUGE piece! <3

How to get your baby or toddler to stay asleep at night...every night! A must-read for parents who want well-rested babies and toddlers!

Ways to Help Your Baby or Toddler Stay Asleep at Night

Tip #1: Gradually remove unhealthy sleeping props.

A blankie or a stuffed teddy is perfectly normal, but a nightly rocking routine or cuddling until your child is fast asleep will only make the sleep process more difficult for both of you.

I love, love, love to rock my babies and toddlers, so I do it during the day.

We get lots of cuddle time throughout the day, but all of my kids are able to fall sleep on their own and stay asleep.

There are times when I break the rules and rock them all the way to sleep, but those are exceptional times and don’t seem to change things up too much.

Bottles or breastfeeding is also a prop you want to avoid.

Make sure your baby or toddler is full, but wide awake when you lay him down at night.

If your child depends on drink, food, or nursing to go to sleep, he will then depend on it in the middle of the night if he stirs or changes position.

A healthy routine is one where your child gets plenty of love and nourishment throughout the day so that when rest time comes, he does not depend on those things to fall asleep.

Tip #2: Get back on schedule.

Many times babies and toddlers develop sleeping problems from lack of a schedule or routine.

Develop a routine that works for your family and stick to it.

Here’s a great resource for creating the perfect routine for toddlers and babies!

Don’t let the clock be your master, but let it be your guide.

Follow a daily pattern to give your child security that will follow him from morning all the way through to dreamland to ensure a good night’s rest.

Tip #3: Keep things dark and quiet at night.

If your baby or toddler awakens during the night, don’t jump out of bed and turn the lights on.

Talk calmly and keep the lights low.

Your best bet?

Invest in a simple night light so the lighting doesn’t change. Here are a few of my favorites below!

Speak in low tones and don’t make the middle of the night seem exciting or fun.

Sometimes just this one simple step helps little ones get back to sleep since it’s super boring in the middle of the night!

Tip #4: Don’t reward your baby or toddler for waking up.

Give your toddler a hug, a reassuring pat and let that be the end of it.

Don’t let your munchkin crawl in your bed and fall asleep night after night.

It will become a habit and everyone’s sleep will be interrupted — your child’s, yours and your husband’s.

If your toddler has had something to drink before bed time, surely he can wait until 6 or 7 am for a glass of milk.

If you are struggling with a baby, it depends on your baby’s growth needs.

If your baby is falling asleep after two or five minutes of breastfeeding, you know you are a pacifier or sleeping prop.

Instead of feeding your baby right away, try calming him down and putting him back to sleep.

He may fuss at first, but eventually will learn that mommy is not a nighttime pacifier and he will be able to soothe himself.

He’ll thank you later for helping him to learn to sleep on his own!

Tip #5: Cut back on screen time.

This goes for toddlers or preschoolers that may be watching too much Elmo or Little Einsteins at night.

It’s fun to cuddle up with your toddler in the evening to watch their favorite cartoon or movie, but if you view it too close to bed time, it may be difficult for your child to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Try to get your movie cuddle time during the day or late afternoon.

Tip #6: Create a calming bedtime routine.

As it gets closer to bedtime, really wind things down.

Give your baby or toddler a nice warm bath, read a story and end with some warm milk or a bottle.

Gently rock your child or sing lullabies, but keep everything slow and calm so they are winding down instead of up!

Remember, it’s fine to rock your baby — in fact, I recommend that close, cuddle time — just don’t rock him all the way to sleep!

What have you found that helps your baby or toddler get back to sleep in the middle of the night?

Be sure to share your best tips in our Parents Connect group on Facebook!

I’ll see you there!

*Affiliate links have been added to parenting resources I think you’ll love!*

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17 thoughts on “6 Ways to Help Your Baby or Toddler Stay Asleep At Night”

  1. I have 2 granddaughters in 2 separate families. 1 is 5 & in Kindergarten, & still sleeps with her parents. Both parents get up very early in the morning, so they don’t have the time to try to change things. The other is 3 & will be having a baby brother in 1 week. She will not sleep in her bed either. Can you give me some ideas that will help both of my daughters remedy this situation? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    1. You just have to suck it up and do it. They will sleep terrible for a couple days but then after that they will sleep even better.

  2. My 1 and 2 year old share a room. The oldest ends up in our bed every . single . night. Therefore, he wakes up when we do… at 5am. How can I make this stop with little interruption to the little one?

  3. I do ALL of your suggestions and my 15 month old still wakes up once or twice. He is still breastfed and nurses both breasts when he wakes up usually around 4 am. Then goes back to sleep till anywhere between 7-9 am. He is asleep every night between 8 and 9 pm so he averages 12 hours of sleep per night then has a 2 hour nap during the day. He is well rested and eats well during the day, 3 meals and 2 snacks usually. It can be hard to tell his fluid intake due to breastfeeding….but he nurses any where between 5 and 8 times in 24 hours depending on how busy we are, if his teeth are sore (4 molars and 2 eye teeth in last 4 weeks). He drinks water thru the day aswell. I have just accepted that this is our reality for now…any other suggestions?

    1. Quit nursing during the night. Go in and sooth, but don’t nurse. We are sleep training, because I got into this bad habit. Like she said, baby is using you as a pacifier! It may take crying and a few nights to rid this bad habit.

  4. Im sorry but all I am reading is ways to make things easier for parents.. This has nothing to do what is best for your child..Not a useful article

    1. I have a two year old, and we found that having a well-rested child leads to having a happy child :) I think these tips are definitely useful for making parents and children happy. What works for one family may not work for another, and I think everyone should do what works for them, and not worry too much about what others are doing.

  5. my 13 month old will not sleep through the night and nurses to sleep. If I lay her down she just stands back up. I don’t know what to do. I think she’d stand there all night.

  6. After four kids, I have found that between one and two years old my children have grown out of the separation anxiety phase and finally go to sleep well-and stay asleep. Breastfeeding requires night feedings for many babies. It worries me that the recommendation is you can already cut out night feedings as early as four months! Is that why so many moms have trouble with supply? I have always had to wake with my babies, whether breastfed or formula fed, until a year.

    1. Hi!

      Five out of my six kiddos slept through the night at 8 weeks old…not waking any more for feeding. Why would four months be a concern to cut out the nightly feeding? Especially if they are getting plenty of nutrition through out the day, and their last feeding is 10 pm? Also, when they stop waking up they are getting a complete night;’s rest…and those five babies that slept through the night at 8 weeks were super-happy and super-healthy. My oldest did not, because I jumped at every whimper, did not put him no a routine and allowed myself or the bottle to be a constant comfort. He, in turn, was a grouchy, high demand baby. The difference was drastic once I put him on a routine. Don’t be worried when people talk about babies sleeping through the night at four months old…it is a very reasonable age! :)

  7. Pingback: Bedtime Tips from Veteran Moms - The Chaos and the Clutter

  8. i give my 1st grader & 4k girls banana, nuts and water at bedtime. My 4k daughter does have nightmares so she joins us. She no longer screams when she wakes up but she is shaking and sweaty. But, She doesn’t wake our 11 month old up or her older sister TG!!!
    It’s really what works for your family!

  9. my 18 month old still nurses and won’t fall asleep with out it when I’m home. if I try and not nurse he will get so upset he may throw up any advice

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