Secrets of Sleep Training a Toddler: Get Them Moving!


As an adult, you’re probably familiar with the interrelationship between physical activity, lower stress levels, and better sleep. In fact, you may have even begun an exercise regimen for those reasons, as many doctors now advise. So, it stands to reason that when sleep training a toddler, they wouldn’t be much different, right?

Physical changes

Sleep training a toddler is different from infant sleep training because you’re working with little ones at very different levels of development. While newborns are developing towards a sleep routine, moving from sporadic to consistent sleep, their quickly developing minds and bodies often wreak havoc on consistency.

However, as babies move from infanthood to toddler age, they’ve had the time to master sleep routines, and their bodies are better at consolidating sleep. As a result, feeding and sleep routines are typically more consistent, and nights are mostly unbroken. But what if your toddler is struggling to fall asleep at the end of their bedtime routine?

Roll with it

If physical activity isn’t a part of your daily routine, you’re not alone. Only one in three adults in the U.S. get the recommended amount of physical activity each week. And only one in three children are physically active every day — it absolutely affects their sleep!

Toddlers, however, are by nature, more physical as they begin to explore the world around them with their bodies, using all of their senses. In fact, toddlers often get a bad rap because of their boundless energy and physicality, but as parents, we need to learn to let them roll with it. If time, space, and weather allow, you can go out in the yard and let your little one run circles around you, or go on nature walks and explore together.

Tire out naturally

I’ll get to the point: let your toddler unleash their energy throughout the day with physical activity, and they’ll typically be tired in the evening. In fact, you may find your toddler beginning to tap out before you’ve completed their bedtime routine!

And if you’re not the one in three adults who get the recommended amount of exercise each week, start by chasing your toddler around and actively engaging in physical activity together. You may find that you’re not sleep training a toddler, they’re helping you sleep by getting adequate physical activity throughout the day!

If you’re in the Philadelphia-area and you find that not even vigorous exercise is helping sleep train toddler, give me a call. I create custom plans for each family I work with, teaching you how to sleep train your baby.

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