Is your little one waking at night? Is your toddler not sleeping and sneaking into your bed and kicking you for the rest of your disrupted slumber?
Since January, her sleep patterns changed. For months, that meant we only had a handful of nights where we didn’t have a little visitor in the early hours.
We all know that I should probably put her back in her own bed, but I didn’t. I made that decision because I know my daughter.
Even at a sleepy 2am, it would lead to an argument and she would take much longer to go back to sleep.
I was tired. I just needed to do the easiest thing for everyone that meant we could all get some rest (albeit restless).
And actually, I remember wanting to go into my parents’ bed. I loved that feeling of being with them in a warm cosy bed after waking up along in my own one.
So I let it happen
It got to the point that I forgot what time she’d woken, and didn’t even remember lifting her into our bed.
Until we discovered a few things that have, over time, reduced the waking.
So actually, this is not clickbait. I just couldn’t think of a title that was more appropriate.
Why do toddlers wake at night?
Around the age of 2 years old, toddlers experience another bout of sleep regression. This means that
- Your child needs less sleep than they have done previously, so sleep schedules in general may be all over the shop
- If your child wakes, they will miss you and look for comfort
- Night time can become a scary time with shadows playing havoc with their imaginations
- They can get out of their own ‘big girl’ or ‘big boy’ beds
Another problem we have had is that our bedrooms have been a bit chilly, thanks to our renovation.
There’s no magic pill to solve sleep regression as we’ve all found out over the years.
But there is an approach that can be used to help cope with it.
It’s called consistency.
The way that we have resolved our sleepless nights is by going back to basics and reinforcing the bed time routine, with a few aids.
Step 1: Get ready for bed
To address the problem of a drop in temperature while we have had our heating system replaced, we’ve been trying out an ergoPouch Winter Sleep Suit Bag.
At first, I thought she was too big for baby sleeping bags, but when this bad boy rocked up, I changed my mind.
The clever zips on these suits mean that you can convert the bag into legs so that little walkers can still get about, so it’s perfect for the older ones.
The first 2 nights Lady P tried this out, she slept through until after 7am. In fact, I had to wake her rather than the other way around!
It’s really cosy and keeps her nice and toasty all night long.
It’s also snuggly for milk and a few programmes to chill out before bed time.
Step 2: Learn when it’s time for sleeping
We also trialled a Gro Clock sleep training clock that I borrowed from a friend.
This meant that after stories, we both set the clock, say ‘goodbye’ to the sun and ‘hello’ to Mr Star.
It took a little while for her to not wake me up to tell me how many stars were left on her clock, but after a bit of tweaking over time, she began to get it.
These are definitely a good idea if your child can understand the concept of colours indicating the difference between sleep and morning time.
Step 3: Reward good effort
I recently wrote a post about bribing your child.
Night time and sleep are two things where bribery can work wonders.
Before saying goodnight, I told my daughter that if she slept all night in her own bed, she would get a sticker in the morning.
If she was a really good girl and went to bed without any silliness and slept all night, she’d get two stickers, and so on.
Apart from random placement of stickers around the her bedroom, more nights than not, we have a more rested household.
We still get the odd few nights where something else happens and she wakes, but on the whole, our consistent approach and key sleep training aids, seem to have helped us see the back of those long tiring nights.
I’m just so grateful!
How did you tackle sleep regression?
Disclaimer: We were sent theergoPouch Winter Sleep Suit Bag product free of charge but not in exchange for a positive endorsement. The opinions in this blog are based on my own experiences and in no way linked to those of the product.