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I’ve got a confession to make: My daughter has always been a good sleeper. From the time she was about 6 weeks old, she was sleeping through the night. By 4 months, she was putting herself to sleep.
She always loved her crib and never fought going down in her nursery. Bedtime was easy, and she could be counted on for at least 12 hours of sleep a night.
Don’t hate me.
For what it’s worth, I believe most of this had very little to do with me. I truly think my daughter was just naturally a good sleeper; there was very little required on my part to get her there.
That is, until she hit a phase called toddler sleep regression.
Around 2-and-a-half years old, my good sleeper started fighting sleep. She was crying and screaming at bedtime, waking up every few hours, and getting up for good most mornings by 6.
It was brutal. And I worked diligently to get my good sleeper back, doing a ton of research. I utilized many of these tools over the next few months, until she was finally sleeping well again.
Here are 10 products that helped get us there.
Bedtime routines are an important cue for kiddos that sleep time has arrived. Books are a solid part of that. Our routine consists of a bath, brushing her teeth, and story time.
One favorite story is “You Are My I Love You,” by Maryann Cusimano Love. For my girl, the two stories she gets a night are a big part of helping her wind down.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $7
I’m a big believer in aromatherapy and essential oils. Lavender oil is known to have a mild sedative effect. Keep in mind, it’s not safe for children to consume orally, so it should be kept high out of reach.
About an hour before my daughter’s bedtime each night, I put a few drops of oil in a diffuser to help her to relax.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $23
One of the issues we had when switching from the crib to the toddler bed was that my little girl didn’t understand how to use her newfound freedom responsibly. She had a difficult time differentiating between nighttime and morning. She would come out of her room at all hours to check if it was time to wake up yet.
The Good Nite Lite solved that problem for us. This is a nightlight that can be set with a timer to switch from a moon to a sun when it is morning. This gives kiddos the OK to get out of bed.
My daughter now waits patiently every morning. She rushes into my room to say, “Mommy, the moon turned to a sun!” as soon as that nightlight lets her know it’s time.
Amazonrating:4.5 stars. $133
Toddlers might want to have a favorite toy or blanket in bed with them for self-soothing purposes. Obviously, you want to be careful of choking hazards. But for us, I can say that having a lovie to cuddle makes a huge difference for my little girl.
Amazonrating: 4.5 stars. $25
Another product that I love is a stuffed Hooty Owl. It’s microwavable and filled with lavender. I stick ours in the microwave as my daughter is going through her bedtime routine. It cuddles with us at story time, then follows her to bed. The warmth is especially soothing in winter.
Amazon rating: 5.0 stars. $17
A cool, dark, and quiet room is the best environment for toddlers to sleep in.
If light is shining in your child’s room when you want him or her to be sleeping (this is often an issue where we live in Alaska in the summer), blackout curtains or blinds are the way to go.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $65
We live in a condominium that’s often alive with the sound of neighbors we share walls with. I’ve found that a white noise machine is essential for drowning some of those random noises out. This helps my toddler sleep.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $25
As part of our bedtime routine, I often use a soothing bubble bath in my daughter’s tub. I tend to dim the lights in the bathroom at bath time, too. This increases her relaxation.
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars. $6
One of the main baby products I was adamant I needed when I first became a new mother was a quality rocker/glider. Now that my daughter is nearly 3 years old, I swear that it’s the product I still get the most use out of. We rock in her glider every night as part of her bedtime routine. It’s definitely a big part of helping her wind down.
Amazon rating:4.0 stars. $200
If none of the above products/ideas are helping, talk to your doctor about your toddler’s sleep habits. Melatonin or another medication might help them sleep. But not enough research has been done about the potential side effects, especially in long-term use.
Amazonrating: 4.5 stars. $15