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Supporting your Toddler to Sleep

Why it’s normal and how to make a change if you want to

First of all, please know that it is so normal for your toddler to seek closeness and comfort at bedtime and overnight. Nighttime is a huge separation for them, which may set off some alarm bells and make them desperate to maintain closeness with us. It’s important that we take the time to bridge this separation at bedtime and fill their connection cup throughout the day.

Check your sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene can help set your little one up for success. Try limiting sugar and screen time in the evenings. Ensure their sleep environment is cool, dark, and ideal for sleep. Make sure they have enough sleep pressure built up before bedtime as well. Too much daytime sleep or not enough wake time can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Create a routine

Little ones truly thrive off of a routine and knowing what’s coming next. This routine doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just a few minutes to allow them to relax and settle down for sleep. Routines can help make bedtime more enjoyable and move more quickly. This is also a great time to fill the connection cup some.

Bridge the separation

Creating a bridge between nighttime and reconnecting in the morning may help your little one face this separation. Try focusing on reuniting, rather than leaving them. You may talk about what you’ll do in the morning, tell them you’ll see them in your dreams, or leave them paper hearts every time you check on them (you may leave a couple at first and then several right before you go to bed!). Bridging separation is so important, and can be used for other situations as well, such as the separation of daycare or school.

Ready to make a change?

Are you ready to make a change to how you support your little one to sleep? These feelings are completely valid! Check out my NEW Moving Toward Independent Sleep Guide now available! This guide will walk you through making changes to nursing to sleep, rocking or bouncing to sleep, or moving baby to their own sleep space while still supporting love and attachment. We can also work on this through a 1:1 consultation if you would prefer!

It is completely fine to make a change to your little one‘s routine when it is no longer working for you. There are many ways to go about this in a way that still supports attachment. Optimizing your routine before making a change may be beneficial! Reach out for support if you’re struggling with your little one’s sleep!

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