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Toddler Sleep 101

Caroline A.
CAROLINE A.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
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Do your toddler's sleep habits have you debating whether they deserve a last-minute demotion to the naughty list? We promise—things get better. Join the conversation to learn all about maximizing ZZZs in the meantime.

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CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Waking up at 5am
SUSAN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 13 MONTH OLD

Hello, my 21 month old son who had been waking between 7am and 7:30am is now waking at 5:15am every morning. He goes to bed between 7pm and 7:30pm and takes a nap for 2.5 hours in the afternoon around 1:30pm. Any suggestions for how to get him to at least sleep until 6:30am? He wakes at 5:15am upset and cranky so it seems like he isn't really ready to wake. He used to wake happy and chatting to himself in the past.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Susan! First off, don't get him until it is 6am. You can also introduce a toddler clock like the OK to wake clock if you think that he will understand the concept already. Look at the nap timing, ideally, his nap should start at 1pm and end by 3pm, bedtime around 7. Good luck!

SUSAN

Thank you! I will try that!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Getting baby to sleep in crib
DANIELLE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby use to sleep in his crib in his earlier weeks at home . Recently he has become to use to being in our arms & will only stay asleep if we're holding him . How can I get him back to sleeping in his crib & staying asleep ?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Danielle! Don't let him fall asleep in your arms anymore, get him into his crib within his 45-60min awake window and offer a pacifier.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Toddler Sleep When Away
ERICA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

My son is 2.5 and sleeps most nights just fine in his crib at home. Starting this past August, whenever we travel he refuses to sleep in a pack n play and will climb out. He will only sleep in a bed with someone, and will not go to sleep at his normal bedtime. We currently have a blow up mattress and toddler bed for him ready to go at my parents house. Any suggestions on how to transition either to the bed by himself or how to keep him in the pack n play?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Try to recreate the sleep environment he has at home and always take a lovey he may have with you. Let him try the pnp out at home so he can get used to it. He may be climbing into your bed during travel because you may be sharing one room and he sees you or because it's a strange sleep envioronment. At 2.5 years old, there isn't really much you can do about it because they are generally too big to be contained. Trying to get him to bed at an appropriate bedtime for him and go to bed yourself later may also help.