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Toddler Sleep Training - 7 Tips and Tricks

Navigate the world of toddler sleep training with ease! Tackling bedtime challenges can be tough, especially with energetic toddlers who prefer exploring over resting

Providing Quality Childcare Since 2012   Infants, Toddlers & Preschool  •  Daycare Centre

Getting toddlers to sleep can often be challenging, especially when they want to stay up and explore. But a good night’s rest is essential for children’s growth, development and happiness, and in this article, we provide a few tips and tricks on how to get your energetic toddler to sleep.

How Do I Get My Two Year Old to Sleep Through the Night?

Each day is a new opportunity for your 2-year-old to explore the world around them, discover new textures, learn new things and gain new skills. No wonder they might become restless and refuse to go or stay in bed when the sun goes down. To help them fall asleep, you can:

Small children need predictability to feel safe and secure. So routine is important for toddler sleep training:

  • Prepare them a light dinner and a calming bath.
  • Turn off all screens.
  • Read a bedtime story or sing them a soothing song.

This prepares the little one for sleep and provides certainty about the events and tasks of each day.

The eyes of the children are more light-sensitive because their pupils are larger, and their lenses are more transparent than those of adults. This makes them more prone to sleep problems, so it’s important to keep lights low in their room by turning off all the screens, dimming the lamps and drawing the curtains to create an ambience without excessive light exposure. This stimulates the production of melatonin – the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycles, helping your toddler fall asleep easier.

toddler after sleep training

Tuck your little one into bed while they are still awake and spend some time talking affectionately to put their mind in a calm and relaxed state. Snuggle next to them and speak softly about the highlights of the day and some of the things they will do the next day. 

Praise his successes and encourage him to try again in the endeavours he had not succeeded in. Sweet talk, kisses, and caresses are extraordinary ways to bond with your little ones and make them look forward to bedtime.

Step 1: Sit quietly in a chair next to your toddler’s bed.

Step 2: If the child cries, pick them up and cuddle them until they are calm again. Then, tuck the child back into bed.

Step 3: Wait to leave the room until the little one is deeply asleep. 

Step 4: As your child cries less and less in the coming nights, move the chair further from the bed, closer to the door. After a couple of nights, when the crying fades, take the chair out of the bedroom and celebrate: you did it!


If you move your toddler from your bed to theirs, you might need a transition method to help you succeed in getting them to sleep.

The steps to do that are:

  • Put the little one into their bed;
  • Place an air mattress in their bedroom and sleep there for a couple of nights;
  • When your child feels at ease sleeping in their bed, replace the mattress with a chair and sit on it until they fall asleep;
  • After a few nights, leave the room immediately after you put your toddler to bed.
  • If you hear them fuss, wait 5 minutes before opening the door to their bedroom and say, without entering the room, reassuring words like “I love you, but it’s time to sleep”. 

The short answer to this question is: it depends. It depends on whether you feel comfortable with a toddler sleep training method that involves crying. 

cry it out sleep training method

Also known as the “cry it out method“, the Ferber method often encounters resistance from toddlers, so be prepared for that.

The steps are:

Step 1:

After the bedtime routine:

  • Put the child into bed.
  • Say “goodnight”.
  • Leave the room even if they begin to protest or cry.

Step 2:

Wait 3 minutes before popping your head into the room to ensure they are alright and can see you there. Briefly say you love him, that it’s time to sleep and then close the bedroom door again. Don’t enter the room, and don’t spend more time speaking to your toddler because this might make him think you will return and stay for good if he cries loud and long enough.  

Step 3:

If the child keeps crying, repeat the process after 5 minutes, after 10 and 15 minutes. Then, pop your head in the room every 15 minutes until they are asleep. 

If this method makes you feel uncomfortable, try the instant return technique.

toddler want to get out from his bed

Although exhausting to some extent, this method of toddler sleep training is efficient and makes you feel at ease as it doesn’t involve crying.

Step 1:

Put the toddler to bed, give him some kisses and hugs and tell him it is time to sleep. Then, leave the room.

Step 2:

If the little one gets out of bed or starts crying, return to the room, put them back to bed, soothe them, say the phrases used before calmly and then leave the room again.

Step 3:

Repeat step 2 as many times as needed. After a few nights, your toddler will grow tired and fall asleep as they will no longer have the energy to climb down from bed or protest time and time again.

Toddler sleep training is challenging, especially with children who resist, have tantrums or refuse to comply with the sleep routine. But you can find the method that best suits your child’s age, personality and disposition. You will make it work if you stay consistent and determined. And even if sometimes you feel exhausted or ready to give up, we are confident you will succeed!

Take a look at our article “What Do You Need for the First Day of Daycare” for tips on how to help your toddler settle for sleep when starting at daycare.

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Our Early Learning Centres

Our early childhood centre environments strongly reflects our inspiration – The Reggio Emilia philosophy, from Reggio Emilia, Italy.

We provide a creative and open ended environment that encourages infinite learning for the children and strong relationships between teachers, children and families.

The day’s routines are flexible. At the same time, care is taken to recognise and respect each child’s needs.

Playground at Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre childcare in Howick, Auckland
Child playing in BBELC - Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre Childcare (1)

Why Choose a Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre?

Here's what our parents say about our childcare centres

Come and visit one of our childcare centres and see for yourself why your child will love it

Talk to the Centre Manager, meet the team, see the natural outdoor play areas and educational rooms, learn about how we develop our programs and find out more about our unique approach to partnering with our families.

Our latest parent reviews from Google

Tanya Vester
Tanya Vester
Our sons attended Bright beginnings early leaning Centre and absolutely loved it. They attended Manuka and Kowhai rooms, and later also Pohutukawa room. The teachers in all three rooms were just SO lovely, caring, attentive and supported their learning journeys and communicated the children’s achievements with us. We are so thankful for the time our kids were able to spend there, and the kids made great memories for life. We highly recommend BBELC to anyone looking for a child care center. We had to leave due to moving overseas and will miss BBELC so much!!!
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
Sukhpreet Singh Mediratta
"I don't think I can express in words the gratitude I feel towards you all. My child, Amrin have learnt so much in your care that will stay with her for life. I believe their fondest memories of childhood will include many of you - I truly hope you are all extremely proud your efforts with our children. Thank you for all the wonderful support and care you have given to my daughter. This Centre is a very special place and she has grown so much in your nurturing, inspiring and challenging environment. You are really helping her to prepare for her school foundation." Actually, this is a second home for Amrin, she started her journey from BBELC, Auckland and will leave for school from here. Thanks to all the teachers, If I start typing the names, the list will be so long. In last especially I should not forget Nikita, who is so understanding and caring towards kids as well as families. Thank you with much love."
Anaru Pui
Anaru Pui
We've had our daughter Waikohu pui in the center for over 1 year now And she has Developed into such a beautiful kind person and has gained some great life skills and experiences thank you to all the teachers for there support and care with our baby girl making life alot easier knowing shes getting great education and Aroha (Love) from all the teachers at her Kura ( school ) thanks again ❤️ from the Pui whanau
Jagroop Kaur
Jagroop Kaur
Teachers are very kind and patient. Also they encourage children to learn in different indoor and outdoor activities. I am so pleased in POHUTUKAWA room the teacher do the school transition program, which is really helpful to the kids enter the primary school in the future. Thanks all teacher who support VIRASAT and other kids there quite well.
anne dela cruz
anne dela cruz
We have been with BBELC Hamilton since 2020 during the peak of pandemic and I never doubted to bring my children here knowing that they are on a safe place and the team are all aware of the best health and safety plan to ensure that everyone in the centre are safe. The centre is the BEST for me in terms of CLEANLINESS (the place os very tidy), SAFETY OF CHILDREN (only parents/caregivers can enter the premises on their pin coded door), FRIENDLY STAFF (you will be greeted by a very friendly receptionist, you can talk to the teachers about your concern with your child), OPEN DOOR POLICY (Manager’s door is open all times for parents for any concern or question), NUTRICIOUS FOOD for our kids, SCHOOL READINESS PROGRAM (table activities, book reading, sharing with others, simple literacy), MAT TIME IS THE BEST as the kids learn to socialize, listen to teachers, story telling, yoga, dance time, music time,etc. and they also held PARENTS TIME where we can chat with the teacher about our kids, meet other parents, share experiences and strategies, parents gets treat and gift on special occasion like mother’s day and father’s day that will definitely make your day as a parent. And lastly for few years now, my kids have enjoyed their Christmas party where they get gift and enjoy bouncy castle, it’s simple but the experience and memories will be lifetime. THANKS TO ALL THE STAFF AND TEACHERS OF BBELC Hamilton! KUDOS TO ALL YOUR HARDWORK AND DEDICATION. CHEERS TO MANY MORE YEARS OF SUCCESS! - DELA CRUZ Family ( Robb and Reuben)
I love BBELC and my child love it too. As parents ,my husband and I deeply appreciate the staff being friendly ,kind ,patient ,role models and caring .The educators work well with parents to achieve the children’s developmental goals , the manager Leonie and Teachers Mari, Kathryn, Summer and Emma really care about the children and very welcoming. The childcare is secure and this gives us peace of mind in knowing that our little ones are in good hands and safe . The classrooms are clean and nicely decorated. I highly recommend sending your child to this center. It’s become our second home.
BBELC is an awesome environment for my daughter to learn and grow through different types of activities. All the staffs are friendly, supportive and helpful. Highly recommended to all.
Neda Bolouri
Neda Bolouri
A safe, happy and caring place for our children.
Norvega Bantang
Norvega Bantang
Bright Beginnings Early Learning Centre - Hamilton is like a second home to my 2 little girls. They are very supportive of the children’s early learning and individual development. The rooms are spacious, warm and cozy and provide different kinds of resources for the children to explore. My girls are always excited to go to kindy every morning. Since I have also recently become part of this centre, it’s good to know and see for myself how things work in the centre and how very passionate the staff are in looking after every child like they are family. As a parent, it gives me the peace of mind that my children are in good hands and are well taken cared of. Definitely made the right decision to enroll our children here.
Diana Villa-Ignacio
Diana Villa-Ignacio
BBELC is a wonderful centre which caters to quality care and learning of children. We take pride in our relationship with parents , whanau and children having positive environment, open communication, flexibility, catering to children needs and working alongside parent's aspiration for their children. Feel free to come and see our Hamilton centre. We will be happy to show you around and be part of our Bright Beginnings Family.

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