Top Tips On Helping Toddlers’ To Sleep Longer

We’ve never been lucky enough to secure a full nights’ sleep from both of our children, at least one requests our company at some point during the night. This is something we’ve come to accept and, although it’d be absolutely amazing to not be woken by a grizzly child, we’re in no rush to change anything. The one thing our children have blessed us with (other than the daily giggles) is regular lay-ins. We’re very lucky, our children tend to sleep longer in the mornings. Enough sleep is important for our childrens health and development, but it’s also equally important for us parents too. There are ways you can encourage your children to sleep longer in the morning and receive some well-deserved respite for yourself. It’s taken us a while to master this, but after many months of fabulous, lazy mornings I wanted to share some tips to help other parents achieve that lie-in we all crave.

I’m a believer that sleep breeds sleep, an earlier bedtime has never meant a later wake-time. Unfortunately. Some of the best mornings we’ve had, have been a result of an early bedtime (sometimes 6.30pm). Any excuse to ditch the children a little earlier, pour a glass of wine and settle in front of the TV for the evening. A huge bonus that you also won’t be woken at an unsightly hour by a grizzly baby/toddler. During the day we also tend to have the long nap in the afternoon, but no later than 3pm. This has always meant they’re rested, but tired enough for bed. Unfortunately our toddler doesn’t nap, we play Lego while the baby naps.

Another thing that worked for us (which does involve getting out of bed, sorry) is tricking your baby into thinking it’s still night-time. This is really sneaky, I know, but needs-must and all that. They can be tricked by feeding them a bottle of milk and making sure you have some good-quality blackout blinds fitted in their room, such as VELUX.

Following on from my previous point, blackout blinds (for us and many parents) are a ‘must’ in childrens rooms. We have outside lights, car lights and general daylight to compete with when it comes to keeping our childrens rooms dark, not to mention the early sunrise and late sunset in summer. Without blackout blinds, we’d not only have children up throughout the night, but they wouldn’t go to bed and would be waking up too early for me to function (yet they’re full of beans). We’re big fans of VELUX blinds here, but I’ll let you in to a secret, you can get HUGE savings on them here: https://www.roofblinds.co.uk/ (I’d call it ‘investing in a lie-in’). We also have a GRO-Blind which is brilliant when we’re on holiday or visiting family during nap-time.
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Does your baby or toddler ever wake-up happy? I often hear our children singing or chatting to themselves in their cot. If this is pre 7am, I might scream a little in my head, but generally I leave them. Sometimes, sometimes, they’re more than happy to be alone for nearly an hour. Sometimes, just sometimes, they fall back to sleep, hurrah! This is a tough one for parents, do we stay in bed while they are? Or do we grasp that time with both hands, go crazy and get some ironing done? I will let you guess which I favour.

Key points for your toddlers’ to sleep longer:

  • An early bed-time, following a routine (ours is around 7pm)
  • The ‘it’s still night-time’ trick
  • Blackout blinds
  • If they’re happy, leave them be

Eventually children adjust to new routines, this could mean many mornings where your children sleep longer. A lie-in will never quite mean what it used to, but even an extra hour in bed would be heaven, right?

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7 Comments

  1. December 11, 2015 / 7:18 am

    I’m definitely investing in those blinds! Arj still wakes up sometimes during the night and it can be so painful! I’m knackered today! #thelist x

  2. December 11, 2015 / 9:53 am

    A little lie-in sounds lovely. We’ve recently got our one year old sleeping through till around 5:30 or 6:30 am which feels like a win, but it won’t be long until we start wanting to stretch the wake up time a bit. I’ll keep these tips in mind – thanks! #TheList

  3. December 11, 2015 / 4:43 pm

    Oh we are up all hours of the night with one of the other of them. I’ve given up! Blackout blinds aren’t such a big deal here as the nights/days are fairly similar all year round but at my mums I need them installed! #TheList

  4. December 11, 2015 / 5:30 pm

    I have 4 children and the youngest is 15 months and wakes every 2 hours now i have stopped breastfeeding. I can often be found downstairs in the wee hours with the baby bjorn on #TheList

  5. December 16, 2015 / 11:53 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about the black out blinds they really help. The early bedtime thing too, this is a must in our house I have come to realise. We do still have some terrible nights but it’s better than nothing! Thanks for linking to #thelist x

    • firstooth
      December 18, 2015 / 11:19 am

      It does make a difference doesn’t it. We’ve had such terrible nights lately but I’m grateful they’ve been sleeping in so well (I’d prefer a full nights sleep, but beggars can’t be choosers!) X

  6. December 20, 2015 / 8:57 am

    The Gro Blind is an amazing thing! Toby is a terrible sleeper, at 17 months old we maybe get 1 sleep through a week from him, he goes to bed at 7pm then is up at least once before 5am *groan* He also wakes up screaming in the morning, I’m hoping his little sister is a little better at it all when she arrives!xx #TheList

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