We all want our families to adjust nicely when we have a new baby in the home. Having a toddler already at home, some may worry that this is going to play havoc on their toddler's sleeping. Well, it does not have to be that way. Being aware of not disrupting your child's sleep habits with the new baby in the house and not changing their familiar routines, your toddler is much more likely to maintain their great sleeping habits.
Here are a few suggestions to help with keeping your toddler's sleep on track:
Patience: Yes...patience is a virtue when it comes to having a toddler in the house as most of us can attest to. This is one of those times where you will need a lot of patience because there may be times when they simple do not want to go to bed because they want to be where all of the action is. Reassurance that nothing has changed regarding their bedtime (and nap time) is important. Let them know that they need their sleep to help out the next day and that you will be there in the morning when they wake up. Staying consistent from the very first night will help prevent nighttime battles in the future.
Preparation: Simply talking about the new baby that is going to be joining your family soon, also helps your toddler get used to the idea of a little brother or sister. Including them in the preparations and telling them about the changes that are going to be coming will help ease the transition.
Routines: It is all about routine and structure at that age and toddlers thrive on it! Your toddler will greatly benefit if you keep the routines they are used to. This means keeping the bath, story time and snuggles before bed if this is part of your routine. They use these cues to help them know it is THEIR time to sleep.
Rooms: When possible your toddler and baby should sleep in separate rooms. This will allow you to attend to your new baby during the night while allowing your toddler to sleep without any disruptions. Your newborn is going to have VERY different sleeping patterns and your toddler needs their rest to wake healthy and happy.
Special Attention: It can be very helpful to plan special activities for your toddler while they are getting used to all of the changes in the house. A little extra attention at bedtime can go a long way in helping them feel special and secure while still maintaining their great sleeping habits. Be kind but firm so bedtime does not get off track.
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