Maintaining Toddler Sleep with a Newborn

For your toddler to be healthy and happy, his sleep habits must be consistent.  This does not have to change when you bring a new baby home from the hospital. When your child's sleep habits are not disrupted by the new baby and his familiar routines are not changed, he will be much more likely to maintain his good sleep track record! As a result, he will no doubt be more secure with the new addition to his family. A few tips can be useful to both your children and yourself.  

1.  While your newborn's sleep patterns will vary during his first months at home, your toddler will benefit from keeping his current routines.  Consider both his regular bedtime at night and the times he takes his naps.  Maintain his current schedule as much as possible.  If he has a bath or a story before going to sleep, you should continue these practices, too.

2.  If possible, your baby and toddler should sleep in separate rooms.  One reason for this is your newborn will have different sleeping patterns than your toddler.  It would be more difficult for your toddler to sleep through the night and have full naps if he is awakened by the baby.

3.  You have more options for helping your toddler maintain his sleep habits if he has his own room.  The amount of light or darkness, and quiet or sounds, are some examples.  The type of environment your child is accustomed to should not change.  When everything is familiar to your toddler, he will feel comfortable and safe.  A familiar environment is the ideal way for your child to prepare for his bedtime and naps.

4.  When you have a newborn in your home, it can be helpful to provide your toddler with a little extra attention.  His bedtime routine and naps will be easier when he knows he is loved and valued.  Talk to him quietly before you put him to bed.  Give him hugs and kisses before he falls asleep.  However, if you do not have the habit of staying in the room until he falls asleep, this is not the time to start.  

5.  Patience is an essential key in maintaining your child's sleep habits.  There may be times he does not want to go to bed, and may refuse to cooperate with you.  While you should reassure him that you will be there when he wakes up, do not make changes in his bedtime or allow him to skip his naps.  This will only cause sleep time to become a battle between you and your child. 

Instead, be kind and loving, but firm.  Let him know it is time for him to sleep.  You can leave soft music playing in the room, and make sure he has his favorite stuffed toys.  If you are patient, he will soon learn sleep time is not negotiable.

Consistent routines are better for you, too.  Even if you are weary from keeping up with your newborn's inconsistent sleep habits, it does not have to affect your toddler.  You can be confident knowing your toddler's routines will keep him healthy and happy.


If you would like personalised help with any sleep issue for a child, newborn to 5 years, contact Katie Forsythe at The Baby Sleep Co today on 0457 473 725 or click here to send us an email.

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