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  • 'Have Longer Playtime' And Other Tips To Get Toddlers Sleep On Their Own

    What can you do to help train your toddlers to stick to their sleeping pattern?
    by Czainnah Gajito .
'Have Longer Playtime' And Other Tips To Get Toddlers Sleep On Their Own
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Being a new parent usually means finding sleep elusive. As your baby enters toddlerhood, he continues to experience sleep disruptions so, getting him to sleep fast and on his own can still pose a challenge. If your toddler's sleep habits are leaving the both of you restless, moms suggest sleep training methods that worked for them.

    One of the mommies on our Facebook group, Smart Parenting Village sought the help of other parents to help improve her toddler's sleep routine. She specifically asked, "How did you train your toddler to sleep on their own?" Soon, the comment section was flooded with pieces of advice from mommies sharing the hacks they employed to successfully sleep train their toddlers. And because sharing is caring, we round up the common answers we found.

    3 sleep training methods for toddlers

    If you are having difficulty getting your little one prepped for bedtime, here are some simple things you can try.

    1. Fix your child’s schedule

    Plotting your kid’s sleeping schedule yields positive results in the long run. They will learn to manage their time well to avoid disrupting their sleep patterns.

    Sleep Specialist Dr. Jonalyn Ang advises enforcing sleeping hours and setting a bedtime routine involving calm activities such as bathing and reading stories. Calm activities will contribute to bringing your children to doze off earlier than they realize. Having white noise and singing lullabies can help too.

    Mom Isabel Roberto-Vallejo who works on a graveyard shift along with her husband shared her sleeping routine with their little one. They have been sleep training their LO since he was just 1 and a half months old! Their daily routine is as follows: 

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    • 7:00 AM - wake up time and playtime
    • 8:30 AM - breakfast and snacks
    • 10:30 AM - bath time
    • 11:30 AM - lunch
    • 1:30 PM to 2:00 PM - afternoon nap
    • 5:00 PM t0 6:00 PM - wake up time from nap and snacks
    • 7:15 PM - dinner
    • 8:30 PM - prepare for bedtime
    • 9:00 PM - lights out until toddler dozes off until around 10:00 PM

    This routine is only an example. You may have to experiment and alter your daily schedule to come up with one that works for you, your child, and your family.

    2. ‘Lights Off’ means lights off

    The majority of the mommies on our Facebook group suggested having a fixed time for lights out. They also say it helps if parents sleep along with their children to set a good example.

    In a previous Smart Parenting article, a US-based pediatric specialist shared, “The darkness helps to train a baby to understand the difference between daytime and night time and helps to eliminate anything that may stimulate your newborn and keep them up.”

    This is the same course of action mom Angela Cabrera De Guzman used to sleep train her toddler. She said, “‘Pag day time, open ang curtains, ‘pag gabi naman, dim light. Ihihiga ko na siya so she can sleep on her own na. Until now, she sleeps from 1:00 PM to 6:30 PM for nap time. Matik (automatic) sa gabi, when I say lights out, sleep na.”

    One of the other mommies actually suggested the Ferber Method, where the baby learns how to ‘self-soothe’ themselves to sleep. The method is to “gradually limit the time you spend in your child’s room while providing regular comfort and reassurance.” However, this may not be suitable for every parent to follow, especially if there is an emotional disconnection between child and parent.

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    Keep your routine

    Apart from plotting a sleep routine, following it daily is easier said than done, especially for working parents

    “Like all other routines, children adapt to their parents’ schedule,” says Dr. Ang. “If daddy comes home late from work and wants to spend some quality time with his child, do something relaxing like reading a bedtime story. Reserve the horseplay for weekends.” 

    Many moms agree to this, like Kaye de Lara-Villanueva. “Routine namin, sponge bath, fresh clothes, milk. Inaantok na siya sa milk, so wala nang hele. Tulog na siya sa crib until morning at 3 weeks old pa lang. Pinapahaba ko playtime niya during the day.”

    Another mom with a graveyard shift shared about how she gets her 3-year-old to have a fixed sleep schedule at 7:00PM. Mom Joenna Sevial’s shift at work starts at 8:30PM. “Ang ginagawa ko, I keep him (LO) busy during the day para ‘di siya makaisip na mag-nap. Tapos ayun, by 7:00PM, tulog na siya. Morning na siya nagigising, nakakapag-work ako peacefully at night.”

    Sleep training is no easy task. Some children can follow and adapt easily while others can make bedtime a lot less peaceful. There’s no way to know what method will work until you start trying. But the key will always rely on consistency so you and your little one can get the quality sleep you need.

    Looking for more sleep training hacks and tips? Click here.

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