Make bedtime the best time by teaching your child to sleep soundly in their own bed.
Step 1: Create a routine Create a firm and consistent bedtime routine for your child. Make sure the time and routine work well for the entire family and occur when the child is beginning to settle down and become tired.
TIP: Allow your toddler to participate in the development of the routine to help with autonomy issues and to make your child feel better about bedtime.
Step 2: Be consistent Be firm about your routine and middle-of-the-night interruptions. If your plan is to not allow co-sleeping, do not give in to your child.
Step 3: Recognize the child's fears Do not disregard a child’s fears. It could be worthwhile to indulge them -- help them search for monsters or ghosts and install a nightlight.
TIP: Offer your child a security toy or blanket. Children under 6 months should sleep in an empty crib to prevent suffocation.
Step 4: Offer rewards Offer your child rewards for sleeping through the night. Place stickers on a calendar to mark each night the child stayed in their bed. At the end of a full week, reward them with a toy or a piece of candy.
Step 5: Reassure your child Reassure your child of your commitment to their security and safety. Make sure they understand that you are close by and that they are safe in their own room.
Step 6: Consult a doctor Consult a doctor if the problem does not cease. There may be anxiety issues or other sleep disorders that need to be addressed by a professional.
FACT: A 2-year-old child should have a total of 13 hours of sleep each day. That includes 11 hours at night and one 2-hour nap during the day.