Toddler Sleep Trick That Works!

by Kelsey Norwood

in Family,Kids

toddler sleep routineAfter our baby was born, our toddler went from sleeping peacefully and easily at nap and night time to being a total terror! He wouldn’t take naps, would stay awake until well after midnight, and it was just awful. I did some reading on toddler sleep habits and came up with a brilliant plan that I think can work for you if you’re having sleep issues with your toddler.

The problem with sleep time was that our son wanted to have the light on and his books in his room and would thus “read” for several hours and refuse to fall asleep. I wanted to eliminate the light and books so that when he was in his bed he would just go to sleep.

We got a digital timer and set it for 10 minutes. We brushed his teeth, put his jammies on, and gave him his books to read until the 10 minutes expired and the timer beeped. Then we would come in, set the timer for another 5 minutes and read to him until it beeped again. Then we put him in his bed, sang a song, and lights out.

Since we started doing this, bedtime has been so much easier. He takes earlier naps and is ready to go to bed by 8:00 instead of midnight. He doesn’t scream and cry about turning the lights off or putting the books away because the timer gives him a manageable routine that he can depend on.

If you’re having sleep issues at your house, try a timer. It has worked for us!


1 Jennifer M July 21, 2009 at 8:49 am

I willing to try anything with my 2 1/2 yr old who does not like to go to bed. Sometimes he will get up a 4:00 in the morning and refuse to go back to bed .

2 Chantella July 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm

We suffer from a similar problem, I am Totally going to try this, make it a game Can we finish brushing in time??? Then the relaxed minutes for reading. Then light out! Crossing my fingers hoping my 2.5 yr old falls for it, oh i mean likes it! haha

3 Shauna July 21, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Belize has started getting up WAY too early!!! Before 6:00 so we put an alarm clock in her room that goes off at 7:00 and she knows she needs to stay in her room until the alarm goes off (she can also see the clock change from 6-7, which she gets excited about).

4 LIz July 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm

that is a way good idea! I think I might try that. We start school this year, and I think it might work..


5 Debbie October 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

Using a timer is a great idea. We used to use a noisy clock with bird song to signal bedtime which worked really well too. But using a timer at bedtime gives a great signal to get ready for sleep time.

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