How to Get a Toddler to Go to Sleep: Simple Tips and Tricks

It’s no secret that getting a toddler to go to sleep can be a challenge. Whether it’s bedtime battles, frequent nighttime wake-ups, or just a general resistance to sleep, many parents struggle to establish a consistent sleep routine for their little ones. But with some patience, persistence, and a few proven strategies, it’s possible to help your toddler get the restful sleep they need.

One key to success is establishing a consistent bedtime routine. This might include a bath, a story, and some quiet time before bed. Avoid stimulating activities like screen time or rough play in the hour leading up to bedtime, as these can make it harder for your child to wind down. It’s also important to set a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. This helps regulate your child’s natural sleep-wake cycle and can make bedtime less of a battle.

Another important factor is creating a sleep-conducive environment. This might mean keeping your child’s room dark, quiet, and cool, with comfortable bedding and a cozy sleep space. Some children may benefit from a night light or a white noise machine to help them feel more secure and relaxed. And if your child is afraid of the dark or has nightmares, offering reassurance and comfort can go a long way in helping them feel safe and secure at bedtime.

Establishing a Bedtime Routine

As a parent, establishing a consistent bedtime routine for your toddler is important for their overall health and well-being. A calming bedtime routine can help your child feel secure and comfortable, making it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Here are some tips for creating a successful bedtime routine for your toddler.

Creating a Calm Environment

Creating a calm environment is essential for helping your toddler wind down and prepare for sleep. Here are some ways to create a soothing atmosphere in your child’s bedroom:

  • Use a night light or dimmer switch to create a soft, calming light.
  • Choose comfortable and cozy bedding and sheets for your child’s bed.
  • Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold.
  • Use white noise or calming music to help your child relax.
  • Remove any electronic devices from the bedroom, including the TV and phone.

Set a Predictable Schedule

Setting a predictable schedule is crucial for establishing a consistent bedtime routine. Here are some tips for creating a predictable schedule for your toddler:

  • Set a consistent bedtime that allows for enough sleep based on your child’s age.
  • Establish a routine that includes dinner, bath time, brushing teeth, and a bedtime story.
  • Avoid late naps that can interfere with your child’s sleep cycle.
  • Create a rhythm to your child’s day that includes naptime and playtime.
  • Try to avoid any stimulating activities, such as walking or playing, close to bedtime.

Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a successful bedtime routine. Your child’s sleep habits will improve with a regular routine that includes a calming bedtime routine and a predictable schedule. If you’re struggling with bedtime battles or night waking, consider consulting with a sleep consultant or your child’s healthcare provider for additional solutions. Remember to stay calm and communicate with your child throughout the process, encouraging self-control and independence. A good night’s sleep is essential for your toddler’s health and well-being.

Creating a Sleep-Inducing Environment

One of the most important factors in getting a toddler to sleep is creating a sleep-inducing environment. Here are some tips for creating the perfect sleep environment for your toddler.

Temperature and Light Control

Temperature and light control are two of the most important factors in creating a sleep-inducing environment. Make sure your toddler’s room is cool and dark. A temperature between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for most toddlers. Use blackout curtains or shades to block out any outside light that might disrupt your toddler’s sleep.

Comfortable Bedding and Sheets

Comfortable bedding and sheets are also important for creating a sleep-inducing environment. Make sure your toddler’s bed is comfortable and supportive. Use soft, breathable sheets and blankets that are appropriate for the season. Avoid using any bedding that might be too heavy or too light for your toddler’s needs.

In addition to these tips, here are some other things you can do to create a sleep-inducing environment:

  • Use a white noise machine or a fan to create a soothing background noise.
  • Avoid giving your toddler any sugary or caffeinated drinks before bedtime.
  • Make sure your toddler goes to the bathroom before going to bed.
  • Read a story or sing a lullaby to your toddler before bedtime.
  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine that includes a bath, brushing teeth, and getting into pajamas.
  • Talk to your pediatrician about any sleep problems your toddler may be experiencing.
  • Avoid using electronic devices before bedtime, as the blue light can disrupt sleep.
  • Make sure your toddler is not overtired or overstimulated before bedtime.
  • Consider using melatonin supplements if your toddler has trouble falling asleep.
  • Address any fears or anxieties your toddler may have about going to sleep.
  • Encourage your toddler’s independence by letting them choose their own pajamas or stuffed animal to sleep with.

By creating a sleep-inducing environment for your toddler, you can help promote healthy sleep habits and ensure that your toddler gets the rest they need to grow and develop properly.

Promoting Self-Soothing

As toddlers grow and develop, it’s important to encourage independence and teach self-control, especially when it comes to falling asleep. Promoting self-soothing can help toddlers learn to comfort themselves and fall asleep more easily. Here are some tips to help promote self-soothing in toddlers.

Encouraging Independence

Encouraging independence is an important part of promoting self-soothing in toddlers. Here are some ways to encourage independence:

  • Allow your toddler to choose their own bedtime routine, such as picking out a book or a stuffed animal to sleep with.
  • Give your toddler a sense of control by allowing them to make small choices, such as what pajamas to wear or what story to read.
  • Teach your toddler how to self-soothe by giving them simple tools, such as a lovey or a pacifier, to comfort themselves.

Teaching Self-Control

Teaching self-control is another important part of promoting self-soothing in toddlers. Here are some ways to teach self-control:

  • Establish consistent sleep habits and routines, such as reading a story or singing a lullaby before bed.
  • Be mindful of timing, as late naps or disruptions to your toddler’s sleep cycle can make it harder for them to fall asleep.
  • Communicate with your toddler about their feelings and emotions, and teach them healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
  • Encourage your toddler to walk themselves back to bed if they wake up during the night, rather than relying on you to soothe them.

By encouraging independence and teaching self-control, you can help your toddler learn to self-soothe and fall asleep more easily. Remember to be consistent with your nightly routine and communicate with your toddler about their feelings and emotions. With time and patience, your toddler will develop healthy sleep habits that will benefit them well into their school-age years.

Handling Resistance and Night Wakings

When it comes to getting toddlers to sleep, it’s not uncommon for them to resist going to bed or wake up frequently during the night. This can be frustrating for parents, but there are solutions to help ease the process.

Dealing with Separation Anxiety

One common reason for resistance and night wakings is separation anxiety. Toddlers may become anxious when separated from their parents, making it difficult for them to fall asleep or stay asleep. To address this, it’s important to establish a consistent nightly routine that includes spending time with your child before bed. This can help ease their anxiety and make them feel more secure.

Addressing Teething and Other Sleep Disruptors

Teething and other disruptions can also cause resistance and night wakings. If your toddler is experiencing teething pain, consider giving them a pain reliever before bed. Additionally, make sure their sleeping environment is comfortable and free of distractions, such as a phone or TV. Preschoolers may also benefit from a nightlight or white noise machine to help them sleep.

It’s important to establish firm boundaries with your child, but also be understanding of their needs. If your child is resistant, try to remain calm and patient. Encourage them to stay in bed, but don’t force them. If they continue to wake up during the night, try not to become frustrated. Instead, comfort them and help them fall back asleep.

Overall, establishing a consistent nightly routine and addressing any disruptions can help ease resistance and night wakings in toddlers. By remaining firm but understanding, you can help your child establish healthy sleep habits that will benefit them in the long run.


Getting a toddler to go to sleep can be a challenging task for many parents. However, with the right strategies and consistency, it is possible to establish a healthy sleep routine for your child. In this article, we have discussed some of the most effective ways to help your toddler fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

One of the most important things to remember is to establish a consistent sleep routine. This includes setting a regular bedtime, creating a calming bedtime routine, and sticking to it every night. Try to avoid any stimulating activities, such as playing video games or watching TV, right before bedtime.

Another important factor is creating a comfortable sleep environment. This includes ensuring that your child’s room is cool, dark, and quiet. You may also want to consider investing in a comfortable mattress and bedding to help your child feel more relaxed and comfortable.

In addition, it is important to pay attention to your child’s sleep needs. Toddlers require a significant amount of sleep each day, ranging from 11 to 14 hours. Be sure to monitor your child’s sleep patterns and adjust their routine as necessary.

Overall, getting a toddler to go to sleep can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, it is possible to establish healthy sleep habits. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help your child get the restful sleep they need to thrive.

About the author
Henry is a father of 2 boys, musician and expert on all things parenting-related. As a dad, he's experienced the joys and challenges of raising children first-hand, and he's passionate about sharing his insights to help others.