You may have asked this question to your friends and family many times or even spent hours searching the internet for an answer to what seems an impossible solution.
The Internet is full of do's and don'ts and it certainly must be driving you mad, but this advice certainly does work so give it a go.
When putting your toddler to sleep try to avoid playing music and cuddling them until they fall asleep feeling loved and secure, or having a mad half an hour before their bedtime to burn of excess energy so they fall asleep. Instead establish a consistent bedtime routine and leaving them to fall asleep on their own. You will need to repeat the same, calming bedtime ritual every night because this teachers your baby or toddler the cues for sleep, they need to know what is going to happen so they feel relaxed and secure. It is important that an hour before bedtime you start to calm everything down.
You can also try and give them a five minute bath before bedtime. This is a good way for them to unwind and the bath helps them to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. When you put them down, dim the lights, and read a quiet story and talk in a gentle voice. Leave your child drowsy in their cot but not asleep. They need to learn to fall asleep on their own to avoid sleep problems later on.
The most frustrating times are when they finally fall asleep and you then go and look forward to what you think is going to be a great night sleep only to be woken up by the sound of them crying. Once you child wakes up during the night you want them to fall asleep on their own. If your baby wakes up in the night and youíre not there they will continue to cry until you go to them, but if they learn to fall asleep on their own they will wake up and find everything as it was and then fall back to sleep.
Some parents believe that if your baby or toddler does not have a nap during the day they will fall asleep much easier at night. This is not the case as an over tired baby is much more difficult to settle. Day time naps reduce the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol so itís important that they have a nap during the day. As long as your baby is awake for two hours before bedtime, napping will help them to sleep better and for longer at night.