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Sleep and settling

Toddler sleep and settling.

  • It is a good idea to put your baby to sleep when they are relaxed, tired, and sleepy, but not asleep, from the beginning. So they are used to feeling safe, secure and able to settle off to sleep themselves.
  • Having a relaxed and consistent bedtime routine will help with your baby, toddler or child this could include a bath, massage, feeding, cuddles, a story or songs and settling into his cot or bed while they are tired but not quite asleep so they can settle themselves to sleep.
  • Night waking is common and some children can resettle themselves. There may often be a reason such as sickness, change in environment or daily routine. At other times they need help andsupport to settle back to sleep.

During the night when they wake, go to them and quietly reassure them that everything is alright. Say something like ‘sleep time now’, give them a cuddle, resettle them and when they are calm and falling alseep walk out of the room.

If your child comes into your room when they wake, gently take them back to bed and resettle them there if they are calm.

  • It's a good time to put them into a bed is when they are standing up and trying to climb out of the cot.
  • The older baby is more able to change position and in particular roll over and does provide a different form of risk. You don’t need to go in and turn them onto their back if they are able to roll back over. You can leave them to sleep. They have improved head control and neck arm and chest strength now so are better able to manage this position. It is important that the sleep place continues to be a safe place for older babies, no pillows, using an infant sleep bag instead of bedding, lightweight and firmly tucked in bedding so they do not get tangled or caught underneath bedding.
  • There are ways to encourage baby to settle without needing to use the breast/bottle as a pacifier or dummy.
  • Remember to give them plenty of praise when they do sleep well, say things like: “I like the way you went to sleep all by yourself”.


Remember every baby is different and has their own sleep pattern many things can affect that such as development, teething, growth spurts and sickness.

An interesting link from Plunket
Here’s something I read on the Plunket website I thought you might find interesting.
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