Baby Hints & Tips

No-Cry Sleep Ideas for Toddlers

sleeping child with teddyHi everyone, I need some ideas to help my 2 1/2 year old daughter sleep longer at night. She wakes 4-5 times a night. I would like ‘gentle’ tips that don’t involve leaving her to cry.

Supportive, non-judgemental replies only.

  •  Toddlers wake just like all of us which is the first expectation to manage…however 4-5 times a night can be taxing on a parent..i suppose you have to ask yourself what are they waking for? Comfort, feed, cold, scared, molars etc? There are just so many reasons…if it’s a certain association such as feeding then can gently night wean if you feel it is the right thing to do, the Dr Jay Gordon method is the most gentle and well researched and respects their feelings, yes they may cry but the key difference is that they do not cry alone to feel abandoned in a room to “deal with it on their own”..more detail on how you resetttle would help to answer the question if possible? Natalie
  • I was in the same position until recently. If I went in at night my 2yr old DS would get more hysterical, want to be picked up & wanted a breastfeed. However if his Dad went in & said “ssshhh its time for sleep” he would lie straight back down & go back to sleep! I find that he reacts differently to his dad than to me at night – so it is a no brainer for us now. If needed his dad goes in & problem solved :) I would also recommend getting a copy of the “no cry sleep solution” by Elizabeth pantley. It is amazing! Kelly
  • Look at what sleep aids they need for sleep and gradually remove them. Eg if you are lying down in bed with them: try moving further away in the bed or just holding their hand until they fall asleep. Then as they get used to that try holding their hand until nearly asleep and then a kiss good night and let go.  If this works, let go earlier when they are still partly awake but stay in the room.  After a few weeks of this my daughter sleeps much better as she isnt waking expecting me to be lying next to her.  She is even sleeping through some nights. Baby steps but we are getting there. When she wakes in the night I do the same, settle her if upset then I hold her hand and let go once she settles. Good luck and I also recommend Elizabeth Pantley. Tanya

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  1. Natalie says:

    Toddlers wake just like all of us which is the first expectation to manage…however 4-5 times a night can be taxing on a parent..i suppose you have to ask yourself what are they waking for? Comfort, feed, cold, scared, molars etc? There are just so many reasons…if it’s a certain association such as feeding then can gently night wean if you feel it is the right thing to do, the Dr Jay Gordon method is the most gentle and well researched and respects their feelings, yes they may cry but the key difference is that they do not cry alone to feel abandoned in a room to “deal with it on their own”..more detail on how you resetttle would help to answer the question if possible?

  2. kelly says:

    I was in the same position until recently. If I went in at night my 2yr old DS would get more hysterical, want to be picked up & wanted a breastfeed. However if his Dad went in & said “ssshhh its time for sleep” he would lie straight back down & go back to sleep! I find that he reacts differently to his dad than to me at night – so it is a no brainer for us now. If needed his dad goes in & problem solved 🙂 I would also recommend getting a copy of the “no cry sleep solution” by Elizabeth pantley. It is amazing!

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