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How to create healthy sleep habits for a toddler?

#1. Preparation matters

Talking about what will be happening at bedtime (maybe at dinner time) is very helpful and may give your striving-for-independance toddler sense of predictability. It will also prevent a meltdown down the road.

I mean – if you just put them to bed and walk out the door most kids are not gonna be happy about that!

Giving them small tasks, like picking the book may be helpful as well which also will give them sense of control and inclusivity.

#2. Create a bedtime routine

I say this often but it is super important so I will repeat: KIDS THIRVE ON CONSISTENCY.

Pajamas, toothbrushing, book reading – the bedtime routine’s super important for getting kids ready to sleep. Repeat it every day.

As a matter of fact, the way the whole day goes is important – and if you have a hard time getting your toddler to sleep at night, switching up your daily habits and routines can make a big difference.

#3. Make them feel secure and happy

It’s a good idea to have your little one feeling happy and relaxed before you leave – because if they’re anxious then tears are pretty much guaranteed.

If they’re warm and cosy, and they understand what’s going on (again: consistency) and where you’ll be, bedtime will be a whole lot more successful .

#4. Support them to go to sleep alone

Yes, you’re leaving them alone to go to sleep – but that doesn’t mean you’re not gonna support them. So let your child know where you’ll be – and make it close by. Right outside or the room opposite.

Be ready to give a quick ‘Shush,’ if they start to get upset – often that’s all it takes and it’s way less disturbing than going back into the room. You’re letting them know that you’re there and everything’s okay.

Even go back in after a bit for one more hug.

They have to go to sleep in their room alone but that doesn’t mean you can’t be there for them – just in a different way now because they’re getting bigger.


Again, the key to successful.. anything 😉 is consistency. I know it can be hard to keep up with the routine sometimes, or it may feel easier to just give in. And even if it does (happens to everyone), just start over. You’ve got this!

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Infant sleep – why is it so erratic and why teaching a baby independent sleep will help them thrive?

For the first 6 months from the moment your baby is born, a lot of development happens.

They don’t know the difference between day and night, there is no circulation of cortisol and melatonin for the first 3 months which is why their sleep is so erratic, irregular and frequently alternates between sleep and waking. Let me explain some basic differences so you can understand your baby’s sleep and also rest assured this crazy phase will pass!

sleep stages

So you know we can differentiate 5 sleep stages.

However, these distinct sleep stages do not develop until 6 months of age. Babies alternate between light (REM) and quiet (NON-REM) sleep. What is more, unlike babies 6mo and older, infants do not begin their sleep cycles with deep sleep. They begin their sleep cycle with light sleep which is why they can be easily awoken. Furthermore, infants spend 50% of their sleep in light sleep and they go through more sleep cycles than adults! While adult’s (or even a preschooler’s) sleep cycle lasts c. 90 minutes, infant sleep cycle last between 30 – 50 minutes .

Now you know where these night wakings come from – infants just go through many sleep cycles a night. Helping them learn independent sleep will make it easier for them to transition from one cycle to the next, reducing the amount of night wakings and giving them restorative and healing sleep they need to grow, develop and thrive.

I am well aware of the stereotypes around sleep training. I have worked with families for over a decade and know what concerns parents’ are. Sleep training is not cry-it-out, it’s not leaving a baby so they can cry themselves to sleep. Sleep training is a process of helping a baby learn to sleep well. Just think how well, happy, creative you feel when you’re rested – why not give your baby tools to do the same! A reputable sleep consultant, like myself, will tailor the method right for a family’s dynamic. I am so looking forward to launching my sleep coaching packages soon!