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How to Get a Toddler to Sleep Fast: 11 Tested-and-Trusted Tricks

Babies are cute when all they do is giggle, poop, and sleep at length. You see yourself as a pro in baby handling and might even consider opening a creche business. Then all of a sudden, they become toddlers, learn to walk, and it becomes increasingly difficult to pacify them to stay in a place or sleep. When your child gets to this stage, you need to learn how to get a toddler to sleep fast if you don’t want to wear yourself out and deprive yourself of quality rest.

Stick around for some tested-and-trusted tricks of getting toddlers to sleep fast collated from parents around the world. The tricks guarantee to send your toddler to dreamland, as fast as possible.

How to Get a Toddler to Sleep Fast: The Tricks

TRICK #1 – Environmental Control

The first trick you should know when learning how to get a toddler to sleep fast is related to environmental control. Environmental factors like light intensity, temperature, and noise affect the induction of sleep. Bright lights, especially, have been reported to adversely affect melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep.

Therefore, if you want to get a toddler to sleep fast, tone down on the noise and dim the bright lights when it is close to bedtime. Keep the child away from noisy electronics and gadgets, especially the ones that emit blue light. Better still, take the toddler to his or her sleeping area, which should have had the aforementioned factors regulated already.

Warm room settings induce sleep better than cold ones do. Consequently, if it is cold outside, shut the windows or turn up the heater, and make the toddler as comfortable as possible.

Creche in Lagos Lekki
Creche at Greensprings School, Anthony Campus

TRICK #2 – Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves the diffusion of essential oils in the sleeping area of the toddler. This body treatment method has been proven to get toddlers to sleep fast, so the use of aromatherapy is the second trick you need to know when learning how to get a toddler to sleep fast.

Essential oils like lemon, dill, eucalyptus, lavender, mandarin, tea tree have been marked safe for use on children. Use a diffuser to diffuse any of the oils in the sleeping area of your toddler, but make sure the diffuser is placed far from the reach of your child.  Observe how your child responds to the aromatherapy treatment, and discontinue the treatment if any sign of irritation, reaction, or allergies occurs.

TRICK #3 – Dress Up! We’re Hitting The Sack!

What a child wears to sleep matters a whole lot. You cannot venture out to sleep-o-rama dressing like you will be paying Santa a visit at the North Pole. Who are you kidding?

To achieve maximum comfort, which in turn fetches sleepiness, opt for fabrics like cotton, bamboo, silk or wool which are certain to give the best sleep results.

However, if a toddler has phases of intermittent dozing instead of some good and wholesome hours of sleep at night, check to see that the fabric isn’t irritating the child. Ensuring your child is cosy is a fast means of getting him or her to sleep.

TRICK #4 – Bed Peace

The fourth trick you will learn from this article on how to get a toddler to sleep fast has to do with the bed and pillow. If you want a toddler to sail out to dreamland on calm waters, you have to make sure his or her bed is comfortable. If not, it might be difficult to get your toddler to sleep.

If a toddler is growing fast, that baby cradle just won’t do anymore. Invest in a long-term bedding solution so you do not have to keep changing beds year in, year out. Buy some fluffy pillows and stuffed toys. Children sleep better if they hold on to something while they are at it. Also, a bigger bed allows the child to adapt to sleeping in less confined spaces. Can’t afford a bigger bed just yet? Let your child sleep with you on yours. Same aim, same gain.

TRICK #5 – Circadian Rhythms

Do not run away just yet. This seemingly large term applies to children, too. Circadian rhythms simply mean “body clock,” and it is responsible for sleep regulation over a period of twenty-four hours. It is like a brain timekeeper that is controlled by light. This is why we sleep at night and are energetic in the day time except for mid-day naps we just cannot help.

If a toddler stays active when it is bright and sleeps at night, he or she is said to have a balanced circadian rhythm. Conversely, if this flow is interrupted by nighttime activities, the toddler will have trouble sleeping at appropriate times. The trick to eliminating this disruption is by having the toddler stick to a consistent schedule of sleep. This involves waking up and napping at pre-set times.

Thinking of how to get a toddler to sleep fast in this regard? Just regulate your toddler’s circadian rhythms.

TRICK #6 – Tell Me Your Dreams & Bedtime Stories

The sixth trick you should know when learning how to get a toddler to sleep fast is about telling bedtime stories to your little child. You could remix the ending of one of his or her not-so-happy dreams and tell it as a bedtime story.

The excitement will get the child motivated and make him or her want to sleep, just so he or she can have another dream and tell it to you. This trick works perfectly if a toddlers’ babbles make sense to you. However, if a toddlers’ babbles don’t make sense to you or your toddler don’t narrate his or her dream to you, you can tell the normal bedtime stories, which aren’t related to the child’s dream.  

TRICK #7 – Body Temperature

Controlling the body temperature of your toddler is the seventh trick on this list on how to get a toddler to sleep fast. Regarding the body temperature of your child, here are some methods that can get your toddler to sleep very fast: First, you have to make sure your toddler sleeps with empty bowels. You do not want your toddler waking up in the middle of the night due to discomfort.

If your toddler is still wearing diapers, make sure he or she sleeps in a clean one. If your toddler is already potty trained, take him or her to pee before you tuck him or her in. Second, give your toddler a good bath; bathing works magic if the toddler loves bath time. Give the child a warm bath, dress him or her up in some cosy clothes (refer to Trick #3) and tuck him or her in.

If it gets too cold, slip on a pair of lightweight socks on the child’s feet to regulate body temperatures as cold feet may cause sleeplessness. You may also wrap the toddler up in a blanket, but this is dependent on the weather.

TRICK #8 – Snack Time

A simple glass of milk or mug of hot chocolate can get a toddler started out on his or her sleep trip. It is another great way of getting a toddler to sleep. Sleeping snacks are important especially if your toddler is experiencing spur growth. Stay away from snacks that contain sugar because they literally make children hyperactive. Do not let your child fall asleep with food in his or her mouth. Feed him or her before brush-time.

TRICK #9 – Goal Setting!

This ninth trick on how to get a toddler to sleep is about setting goals and doling out rewards to a toddler for achieving them. A way to set these goals is by making routines. Plan a daily schedule that encompasses little chores for the toddler, and reward him or her when completed. End the schedule with bedtime-related activities.

Your child will eventually get used to the schedule and look forward to the tiny rewards.

TRICK #10 – Where Are My Paint Brushes?

Are you wondering how to get a toddler to sleep by simply painting their room? Here’s how to go about it. It has been discovered that certain colours enhance sleep performance. Cool colours like blue create a serene sleep environment, while loud colours like red signify danger and vigilance.

So before you call your painter, consider some soft and warm colours for your toddler’s room.

how to get a toddler to sleep

TRICK #11 – Family Time

Remember the times when you would fall asleep on the couch and find yourself in bed? Great feeling! The last trick on how to get a toddler to sleep fast has to do with spending family time together. You and your toddler can spend time together watching PG-rated movies or favourite toons while playing or cuddling on the sofa.

You do not want to overdo it and engross your toddler too deep that he or she doesn’t want to sleep any longer. Ensure your toddler is close while you spend time together. Holding and hugging encourage comfort and there is a tendency for a child to rest when he or she is comfortable.

Slowly loosen body contact while the child falls asleep. If the child startles, try singing a lullaby or holding his or her hands. Lift the child up and carry him or her gently to the sleeping area. Linger for a while to ensure he or she is sleeping deeply, and then check out.

How to Get a Toddler to Sleep Fast

There you have it:  eleven solid tricks on how to get a toddler to sleep fast. However, take into consideration that every child is different, and it might take more than one attempt at the tricks given above to perfect the sleep schedules. Go easy on the child and yourself.

Do let us know how any of these worked out for you (yes, the tips are adult-compatible) and your toddler(s).