5 ways to deal with a toddler who thinks bedtime is an optional extra.

toddler won't sleep
Dealing with a toddler that won’t sleep can be challenging.

Dealing with a toddler that won’t sleep can be challenging (excruciating, frustrating). We’ve all been through it. We finally train our beautiful little babies to sleep and think it’s all sorted.

Then they turn into toddlers and decide they won’t follow their sleep schedule anymore, or they’d like to drop a nap, change their bedtime or start getting up before the sun.

Toddlers like to test their limits. It’s natural for them to try and be more independent at this age. That’s fine when it comes to what shape they want their sandwich cut in or which t-shirt they want to wear but bedtime is non-negotiable.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Euky Bear. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

Here are five tips for dealing with a toddler that won’t sleep. Don’t worry, these actually work:

1. It’s bedtime. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

Fighting nap time is common toddler behaviour and when the fight spills over into night-time, it can become a nightmare. Toddlers can smell doubt, so you need to be firm when it comes to bedtime. If a toddler refuses to go to sleep, denies being tired or asks for one more game, one more snack or one more drink, you need to be firm.

The first few nights (or weeks depending on your toddler’s determination to mess with their schedule) will be the toughest. It’s so important to stick to the plan. If you waver, even once, you are adding more nights of struggle. So keep that in mind.

2. A special sleeping buddy, not a dummy or a blanket.

toddler won't sleep
A special sleeping buddy.

Allowing your toddler to become attached to a special soft toy for sleep time is a great idea, but you might want to buy more than one in case you ever lose it.

By teaching them to sleep with their little friend, they have some comfort during nap time, at night and if they wake up during the night. Instead of having to pick them up, you can simply tuck their toy under their arm, give them a kiss and back out of the room quietly.

Then, when you need your toddler to sleep at a different location during holidays or while being looked after by friends or relatives, bring along their sleeping buddy and they’ll know it’s about that time again.

3. Stay calm and reassuring when night-time fears come.

Night terrors are common as children grow and shouldn’t be dismissed. Your toddler relies on you for comfort. They need to know that if they call you, you’ll be there. It helps them to feel secure and loved. This will help them with their sleeping habits in the long run.

When children wake up crying due to a nightmare, go to them as quickly as you can manage and stay with them until they have calmed down, but calm them down in their bedroom. Don’t bring them to your bed or even out of the room. This is where a comfy chair in their room will come in handy. The second you lie down next to them, you develop a sleep association that is difficult to continue.

4. Give a sleep time inhalant a try.

Once you use an inhalant, you will never go back. The good folk at Euky Bear know what they’re talking about when it comes to getting kids to sleep and their Sleepy Time Inhalant creates a relaxing environment for your toddler; ideal for bedtime. The use of lavender is brilliant. Lavender has long been known to aid in relaxation, which is why it is also in so many baby bath products.

An inhalant will not only relax your child, it will improve their sleep quality and reduce their anxiety. So it will not only help them to fall asleep but help them to stay sleeping peacefully all night. It could also help them fall back asleep after waking up during the night.

toddler won't sleep
A night light can be a life saver!

5. A cute nightlight.

A nightlight can reduce any night-time fears your child develops as they get older and start to pay attention to their environment. A nightlight can be a life saver.

Take your toddler shopping and let them choose their own. You can buy a traditional nightlight, a fun lamp or even a toy that glows in the dark. My daughter’s favourite bedtime toy at the moment is a pillow pet that lights up stars on the ceiling of her room and slowly changes colour. Not only does it light up the room but it is soothing, relaxing and keeps her focused on something while she falls asleep.

How do you get your toddler to slip into dream land?

Euky Bear Sleepy Time InhalantJust like adults, kids can find it hard to wind down at night. Euky Bear Sleepy Time Inhalant is a unique, soothing lavender-based inhalant to help aid children’s sleep and relaxation. It provides all-night comfort in children’s bedrooms and is a useful addition to a bedtime routine. It contains pure Lavandula Angustifolia lavender oil, renowned for its ability to improve sleep quality, promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Why not use your vaporiser all year round… not just for colds? Let Sleepy Time’s soothing lavender aroma relax your children and help them drift off to sleep, naturally. Available at pharmacies RRP $8.95.

Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.

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