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The Toddler Sleep Struggle Is Real

You know when you get out of the newborn phase and your kid starts sleeping through the night?


And then, they regress and don’t sleep. At all?


And, then, once they’re no longer an infant and solidly a toddler and they start sleeping again?


And … you get used to that?


And then they stop sleeping?


And only want mom?




Not that I’m talking from personal experience here or anything …


So, other mamas: please, for the love of all that is sleeping and good, have you been through this? How did you deal with it? What toddler sleep tips can you share? We’ve tried moving her bedtime up. We’ve tried napping. Not napping. We have a set bedtime ritual. We talk about the importance of rest and sleep. We limit screen time and sugar before bed. She’s getting plenty of physical activity. And she’s currently demanding to sleep with her light on, door open and me in the room — no exceptions.


And if you’re going through toddler sleep probs, too, wanna get virtual coffee? I’ll buy.


Of course, if we have a breakthrough, you’ll be the first to know because I will not be able to keep my excitement contained. In the meantime, hit us up on Instagram. I’ll be sharing my sleep struggles and successes and more in IG stories! Jenn

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  1. Jessica Hutton says:

    You are not alone! I really think that between age 3 and 3.5, kiddos start to become much more aware of their surroundings and environment and the potential for threat and harm. Example: My 3-yr-old who would do everything on the playground without hesitation is now scared to go down a little slide! He also begs for someone to lay down with him at bedtime and talks about being scared that monsters or bad guys will get him. He gets out of bed a million times and he also sings or talks to himself to intentionally keep himself from falling asleep. He wouldn’t end up going to sleep till after 10:00pm some nights! So, two things have seemed to help us a little. 1) We give him half a pill of children’s chewable melatonin about 30 minutes before bed time. Not every night, but maybe when the falling asleep gets bad, for 3 or 4 nights in a row to help shift him back into his routine. And 2) We talk a lot about how he’s safe in our house, how its our number one job to keep him safe, that mom and dad are close by and can see his room and hear him if he needs us, and that we check on him before going to our rooms for the night and can see him on the monitor, etc. etc.

    It’s not like all our sleep problems are solved, but they are improving! You do have to be careful with the melatonin. All kiddos react differently, but some are more prone to nightmares when they take it. We can’t give it if he’s overtired, because that makes those negative side-effects more likely. But our pediatrician was definitely on board with us trying it. And Dash takes it without problem, so it’s not a fight before bed like medicine can be with some kiddos.

    Hang in there and keep repeating “It’s just a phase, it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase…” 🙂

    1. Jenn says:

      THANK YOU for this. 🙂


  2. I can relate to you, Jenn. Apart from those, you might want to get kids outside during the day, make the bedroom a device-free sleep sanctuary, and eat dinner earlier in the evening. You might also want to consider getting the best mattress that will contribute to great sleep. You can think of buying a mattress online—it’s cheaper and more economical since you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of markup and middlemen, cutting a lot of cost out of a mattress.

  3. We’ve tried napping. Not napping.

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