Category Archives: Toddler

“Can you come sleep coach my child for me?”

I hear this occasionally, parents asking me if I can come sleep train their child for them.  Some are joking when they ask, some are serious.  I wanted to talk a little about why I do not offer this service.

Children act differently for strangers and other people who aren’t Mom and Dad

If you’ve ever seen your child in school or daycare you may be amazed at how they are acting.  They are behaving and listening so well!  Some of that could just be consistency, they know exactly what to expect and when to expect it at school, whereas home can be a little more chaotic at times.  Also parents may be a little inconsistent at times – I know when I’m trying to do things around the house and my child is bugging me for something, I may be a little more willing to give in then their teachers may be!  So if I, or someone else, would come into their home and try to put them to sleep, they may very quickly and quietly start falling asleep, but then when Mom or Dad try to do the same thing, they may behave very differently.  Plus if Mom is nursing, baby will smell mom when she’s there, but not when the stranger is there.  (Speaking of this, I do sometimes recommend Dad do the coaching in the beginning until baby is used to not eating, but I always have Mom step in at some point as well).

Outsourcing?

I’m not crazy about the idea of parents “outsourcing” when they feel like the task is going to be hard for them.  (Of course if you have hired someone to come in, I’m not judging you – everyone needs to do what feels right to them).  I want parents to feel confident in their parenting ability.  No matter how competent or incompetent you feel, you can do this.  Your child will feel most comfortable with you, and yes that may mean they’ll fight longer or act out more, but I always want bedtime to be a calm, relaxing experience, and I cannot imagine it will be that calm or relaxed with a stranger in the room, no matter how comforting they are.

You can do it! 

You don’t need someone else to come in and coach your child.  You know your child best and you can read them better than anyone.  Plus you will gain more confidence in going through this process!

Yes, I can help!

This is not to say I cannot help you at all.  My services help you create a plan to follow to help your child get the sleep they need to be happy and healthy.  Sometimes I also add in text support where I can be available while you are doing bedtime, so you can ask questions and get immediate answers, or just general support.  I also have been available in a family’s house, I’ve stayed downstairs while the family is doing the sleep coaching upstairs.  I can watch on baby monitors and just be there for support.

 

Do you have questions or comments?  I would love to hear them!

When Should My Child Transition to One Nap?

The average age to transition from 2 naps to one nap is between 15 and 18 months.  I know when I first learned this years ago I was amazed.  The preschool I used to work at transitioned children to one nap at 12 months.  And they aren’t the only daycare or preschool that does.   Unfortunately that may not be in your child’s best interest.  Keep reading for signs that your child is ready to drop from 2 naps to 1.

So how do you know what your child is ready to drop a nap?  The first thing to pay attention to is your child’s age.  The average age to drop to one nap is 15 – 18 months.  Of course that’s just an average age, some children may be a little younger and some may be a little older, but if your child is much younger, there may be other things going on, and I would not assume they were ready for one nap.  Here are some signs, besides age, that tell you your child is ready, or is getting ready:

  1. Your child starts taking a long time to fall asleep for their morning nap.
    If your child starts taking longer and longer to fall asleep for their morning nap, they may be getting ready to stay up longer and may make it to just an afternoon nap.  Also if they start pushing their morning nap later, then they may not go down for their afternoon nap and that can cause overtiredness issues at bedtime.
  2. Your child takes a morning nap, but then starts refusing their afternoon nap.
    If your child starts only taking a morning nap and then refuses their afternoon nap, they will have a very long awake period before bedtime.  This will cause them to most likely be overtired at bedtime, which can cause night and early morning wake ups.

Some children may easily transition to one nap a day.  Some may just one day stop napping in the morning, then fall asleep around 12 or 1 and take a long nap.  If your child isn’t one of those children, here are some tips to make the transition easier:

  1. Be prepared for an earlier bedtime on days when naps don’t go as planned.
    If your child only takes a morning nap, or takes one short nap, they may need an earlier bedtime that day so they do not become too overtired.
  2. Be open to a one or two nap day.
    While you are making the transition from 2 to 1 nap, there may be days when your child needs 2 naps instead of 1 and that is okay.
  3. If your child goes to a school that insists on transitioning them to one nap early, it is okay to let them have 2 nap days on the weekends.

While the transition may seem a little stressful, it will not last long, and once your child is on one nap a day, that will hopefully be a nice long nap!  During this time, you may need to adjust bedtime a little earlier because remember, children who are overtired sleep worse than children who are well rested.  So we want to make sure your child doesn’t get overtired.

Toddler Challenges – Climbing

Just when you get your child on a good sleep schedule, they throw you another curve ball, like climbing out of their crib!  Or maybe your child was never a good sleeper and now you have a poor sleeper who can move about the house!  Either way, chances are you may need some tips to figure out how to deal with this stage.

While your first thought may be getting rid of the crib, it is actually better to try to keep them in it as long as possible.  If your child is throwing themselves out and there is a real danger of them getting hurt and you need to do something immediately (maybe you are reading this at 3AM and your child just started vaulting out), you may just want to pull the mattress out and put it in the floor in their room.  You may need to stay in there with them at the moment, but keep reading for some more longer term solutions.

Behavior Changes

One of the first things to do is to make it clear to your child that climbing out of the crib is not a behavior you will allow.  The difficulty in this is to react in a clear confident manner, but to not overreact.  Overreacting may make the child continue the behavior because they are getting attention and making Mommy or Daddy react!

Sleep Sacks and TShirts

Halo makes toddler sleep sacks which do have leg openings for walkers, but they also don’t allow the legs to open as wide, making it a little more difficult for children to climb over the crib.   Another thing that may help is putting your child is a long tshirt, which again makes it more difficult for them to lift their legs.  With that option though, they can always figure out how to lift the tshirt first, then climb out.

 

Baby Gates

Maybe your child climbs in and out of their crib during the day, but not yet at night.  My son did this, he and my daughter would play in the crib during the day.  I knew he could safely get in and out and so if he did do it in the middle of the night, I wasn’t too worried.  However, I did not want him wandering around the house in the middle of the night, so we put up a baby gate at his door.  (This also served to keep the dogs and cats out of his room!)  Once your child is walking, you may want to consider that they could climb out of the crib.  Be sure to child proof their room and take steps to keep them safe if they were to get out.

Tackling the Sleep Issues Themselves

If your child was never a good sleeper, this is a good time to get them sleeping!  What you don’t want is a non sleeper with the ability to move around their room and the house at night.  There are occasionally times where moving a child into a bed and out of the crib could cause them to sleep slightly better, but more often than not, things remain the same, or may even get worse.

Here are some posts to read to work on their sleep issues:

Toddler Naps

Bedtime Routines

My Child Wakes Too Early in the Morning

Top Sleep Tips for Preschoolers

And if you may need some more help, I can personally work with you to help your child sleep!  Check out my Sleep Services and Pricing page for more information.

Moving to a Bed

If it becomes a situation where you cannot keep your child in their crib, and there is a possibility they could hurt themselves either escaping or once they are out, here are some tips to make the move to a bed a little easier – Transitioning from A Crib to a Bed

Sleep Well!

Ask The Sleep Coach

Announcing the Belated Mother’s Day Special!  You can now book an Ask the Sleep Coach call for only $47!  Just book a call to take place before June 11th and get this special price.  Click here to book now!

And if you don’t see a time that will work for your schedule, please email me at michelle@sleepwellsleepsolutions.com and we’ll figure something out that does work for you. 

Let’s get you sleeping well!

 

Ask the Sleep CoachI am currently offering a service for those of you who might not need a full consultation*.  If you have some questions about your child’s sleep and would just like to have an hour of time with me to pick my brain, this is the offering for you!

Some examples of questions you may have are:

My toddler seems to be giving up his nap – Is he ready to do this?

We want to move our 4 month old out of our room into her own room, do you have recommendations for making this process go smoothly?

We are taking a trip this summer – do you have tips to help our child sleep well while there, and then tips to help them transition well when we are back home?

You get 60 minutes of my time on the phone for just $60.  You can ask me any sleep related questions you want in that hour!

Book Here – https://10to8.com/book/obvrqk-free/

Send me an email at michelle@sleepwellsleepsolutions.com if you have any questions about this service, or you need an appointment time other than those that are available online.

*If your child has multiple sleep issues and you want a customized plan, please see the Sleep Services page for more information on personalized full consultations.  If you do book an Ask the Sleep Coach call and later decide to schedule a full consultation, you can apply the amount you paid for this call to the cost of the consultation.

Ready to get your questions answered??  Click below!