Setting up a 2 year old sleep schedule might feel stressful and overwhelming, even to a mom of 4 kids, but we are sharing 2 year old sleep training secrets to make sleep training your 2 year old a breeze, even with the transition out of a crib!
This post is sponsored by the Baby Sleep Site. All opinions are my own.
How to Get Your 2 Year Old to Go to Sleep Fast!
Transitioning out of a crib
Tony was such a good little sleeper in his crib. I would lay him down and he would go right to sleep for the night. He would also take 3 hour naps and it was glorious!
But then it happened! Our kitchen flooded and we were having to renovate the whole thing, which happened to be right next to Tony’s bedroom.
For 8 weeks Tony moved into a porta-crib on the other side of the house. The first couple of days were a little touch and go, but he was still sleeping pretty good, but then it HAPPENED!
He learned to climb out of the crib!
I thought for sure he was only climbing out because it was new and different, but he would go back to his crib and sleep gloriously!
NOPE, NADA, did not happen!
The first night back in, he climbed out 15 times and came running out every single time until he was exhausted and fell asleep.
The next day we went and got a bed for him (because it was safer than him climbing out all the time) and that’s when our real struggles began!
Tony would get out of bed before I would even run out of the room faster than I could even put him to bed!
I was desperate, we tried everything to get him to stay in bed! After months of trying we finally got Tony to go back to his old sleeping ways!
So rather than struggle like we did, I am sharing with you 10 sleep training secrets for 2 year olds that work!
When should I start sleep training?
Sleeping training can start very early on in your baby’s life. You will see some recommendations as early as 2 months, others, and 4. I do not recommend this personally as I like to wait until my babies are at least 6 months old.
The reason you will want to wait is that your baby is able to eat more and go longer in between feedings.
If you have not tried sleep training before and your child is now 1, 2, or even 3 (or older) do not fret! These sleep training methods will work to help you create a s sleep training schedule that is right for you and your child.
When should I not sleep train?
Sleep training should not be started if you have a big trip coming up or moving soon. Also, do not sleep train if you have company visiting or something stressful happening in your life like a big work project that may cause more stress than usual.
10 Secrets to Sleep Training 2 year olds
Here are the best secrets for 2 year old sleep training to get your toddler sleeping through the night happily without tears!
One of the most important things when sleep training 2 year olds is consistency. Children thrive on structure and routines.
When they know what is to come, you will see the bedtime battles decrease dramatically.
Create a 2 year old sleep schedule
Creating a toddler sleep schedule is the key to a successful bedtime routine. Keep in mind that 2 year olds need about 11-12 hours of sleep at night and about 2-3 hours of napping throughout the day.
Here is a sample 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule that we followed with Tony that worked!
Sample 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule
This is the schedule that we followed. With older kids in school, we woke up earlier because we had to get other kids to school on time. This can be adjusted however you see fit for your schedule.
6:00 – Wake up
7:00 – Breakfast
9:30 – Snack
11:30 – Lunch
12:30 – Naptime (at least 1 hour)
3:30 – Snack
6:00 – Dinner
7:30 – Bedtime routine
8:00 – Bedtime
Establish a bedtime routine
Establishing a simple toddler bedtime routine is important. With a bedtime routine in place you help your toddler know what is to come.
The key to establishing a successful bedtime routine is to not drab it out with a million things. Be sure it is around 30 minutes or less.
Offer a snack before bed
Often times kids can get hungry right before bed. They are busy playing and running around and don’t realize they are hungry.
Offer your toddler a half of banana or another smaller healthy snack before bed to make sure they do not get hungry throughout the night.
You will want to offer a snack before naps as well.
Active play throughout the day, especially after naps
The more energy exerted throughout the day the more their bodies will need to rest and recover helping them fall asleep faster
Consult with the Baby Sleep Consultants and Toddler Sleep Experts
When looking for help with my toddler’s sleep success consulting with the Baby Sleep Site is the best decision I made when it came to helping with Tony and his sleep schedule and struggles. Even though he was my 4th baby I still needed help figuring out how to help him and our family get uninterrupted sleep.
I loved the ability the Baby Sleep Site had to coach me around my own parenting styles and Tony’s temperament and also factor in all the other family members living in the home.
The Baby Sleep Site has helped over 40,000 families since 2008!
Why the Baby Sleep Site is the best secret to help you with your Toddler’s sleep schedule
I love that the Baby Sleep Site offers different plans so that I could find the one that worked best for me and my budget to develop the perfect schedule and routine for my child.
The Sleep Site helps take the guesswork out of bedtime and helped me address the issues we were seeing in our toddler.
They have helped thousands of kids, babies to toddlers sleep better and overcome their sleeping challenges. The best thing about the Sleep Site is that their plan adapts to all child’s temperaments as well as parenting styles.
They offer email support, phone, and in-home consultation. Not only that, but you can have member access to e-books that help you as well!
No electronics 1 hour before bed
Your body naturally produces melatonin which is the hormone that helps you sleep.
When your child is using a tablet or watching a TV screen right before bed it is not helping their internal clock. It is actually more difficult to tell their body “It’s bedtime because the brain is becoming over stimulated” Not only but their body fails to produce the melatonin needed to help them fall asleep faster.
Room Aversions / Dark
When sleep training 2 year olds it is sometimes very difficult to understand what the underlying issue is at bedtime. They cry and try to tell you something, but often we don’t know what they are saying.
A possible cause that your 2 year old is not sleeping is because they have some sort of room aversions or they are scared of the dark.
To combat this issue, spend time with them in their room each day playing, reading stories, and making it a happy place.
You can also pick up an inexpensive night light which could solve all your problems. With both Talie and Tony they both hated the dark once they were out of their cribs.
Stay calm and be in control of your own emotions
Sleep training 2 year olds can be stressful, but it is worth it! The best secret for sleep training is to stay calm and in control.
Once you become frustrated your child will pick up on it and feed on your emotions even more making it even more difficult.
Praise / rewards
There are benefits of positive reinforcements and why not use it for sleeping!
When you give your toddler a reward or praise them you are encouraging your child to repeat the same behavior!
Establish a reward plan that excites your child. Something they will want to work towards. Make sure it is motivating and practical. Just be sure as a parent to follow through with the reward system.
There you have it! Our 10 secrets to establish a 2 year sleep schedule that works for you and your toddler! What other secrets would you add to the list? Share in the comments!
Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!