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  • Jessica Berk

3 Toddler Sleep Myths Keeping You Stuck

If you have a strong-willed toddler making bedtime last for hours, you’ve probably tried a million things to speed it up.

If you have to lay with your kiddo until they fall asleep or you find tiny humans crawling into your bed in the middle of the night, you’ve probably tried a million things to get them to stay in their own bed.

A sticker chart. Threatening to take privileges away. Bribery. Yelling.

You’ve Googled, you’ve complained to your friends but nothing you read or try seems to work for your kiddo.

This is when you probably just throw up your hands, tell yourself Susie is “just not a good sleeper” and then default to one of 3 common toddler sleep myths about Susie.

1. It’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it

2. She’ll fall asleep when she’s tired

3. She just can’t fall asleep alone

Well, these are just lame-o excuses.

It’s true.

These are lies.

Lies that you’re telling yourself to justify the situation.

It’s unconscious... so don’t blame yourself.

It’s just your brain justifying the situation that you find yourself in.

It’s natural to think like this when you don’t see any other options. When you’ve tried your best to fix the situation but it just doesn’t get better.

These myths are what is keeping you stuck in your very real sleep struggles.

Let’s break these myths down so you can stop using them to keep you stuck in the same bad sleep habits.

1. It’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it

Sleep behaviors aren’t phases, they’re habits.

Learned, reinforced consistent habits.

Sleep behaviors becomes habits just like other things become habits.

Have you gotten Susie into the good habit of brushing her teeth before bed?

Have you gotten her in the habit of washing her hands after she goes potty?

You’ve done a great job at building these habits by repeating them over and over again every time so she gets used to it.

By repeating them, they become second nature. She won’t grow out of them.

Think of bedtime the same way.

So, at bedtime, after you say goodnight, does she pop out of bed asking you for “one more” sip of water”, “one more” hug, saying she’s not tired, saying she’s too hot, too cold… And what do you do? How do you respond? How long has this been going on?

Sleep behaviors are habits, not phases.

Whether good or bed, when practiced consistently, they stick.

2. She’ll fall asleep when she’s tired

Humans have a biological need for sleep.

As parents, it’s our job to keep our kids healthy and safe.

Making sure they get enough sleep is part of that responsibility.

Kids ages 3-10 need to be getting between 10-12 SOLID hours of sleep overnight.

Kids, especially toddlers, can have strong cases of FOMO.

So they may not be tapped into this strong need for sleep.

Much like they might want to grab a burning candle because it... well, looks cool

Just because they want to do it, doesn't mean it's a good idea.

So, they may not want to go to bed on time... they know you’re still awake... they don’t want to miss the party.

But if they stay up too late, kids, just like adults, get a second wind.

If you miss Susie’s early sleepy cues, she may seem “wired” and “not tired” until 9 or 10 at night. That's the second wind kicking in.

The stress hormone cortisol surges in kids who don’t get enough sleep and it fuels them to stay awake later and later.

Cortisol makes kids not reliable.

What is reliable is the clock.

Sleep is vital for growth, brain development, memory formation, the immune system, etc. So, make sure that your kid is going to be on time and getting enough sleep for their health.

3. She just can’t fall asleep alone

Remember the term “sleep crutch” from when Susie was a baby?

A sleep crutch is something that kids come to rely on in order to fall asleep. They get so used to it that they can’t fall asleep without it.

Well, if you find yourself co-sleeping every night – whether in Susie’s bed or your bed – and you can’t seem to stop. You, mama, are the sleep crutch.

By 5 or 6 months old, Susie is old enough to fall and stay asleep by herself.

So, at her age now, Susie is certainly capable of sleeping alone.

So, you need to give Susie the chance to experience falling asleep alone. That’s the only way she is going to get used to it.

Please don’t default to these common toddler sleep myths anymore.

There are better plans. There are better tools.

You can be successful.

You deserve to have well-rested kids with good sleep habits.

You don't have to be Einstein to know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

You - and Susie - deserve sleep. Learn how to get started on the path to good sleep by joining my next Free Toddler Sleep Masterclass. All you have to do is reserve your spot and you'll see why your should ditch these myths! Click here: Toddler Sleep Masterclass



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