Mother and Baby

The Sleep Fix: 12-24 Months

Section: Sleep

Toddlerhood brings it's own sleep challenges - and new clever ways to overcome them...

Offer a snooze snack

‘Certain types of food boost levels of melatonin, which helps your baby feel sleepy,’ says Sammy. ‘Try bananas, turkey and lettuce. You can also give warm milk and honey to children aged one and upwards.’

Cut back on screen time

Switch off your TV and gadgets around two hours before baby bedtime. ‘Screens emit a particular type of blue light that actually stimulates your toddler, making 
it harder for her to chill out,’ says Sammy.

create a bedtime song

‘I sing the same lullaby to my babies when it’s bedtime,’ says Claire Chaplin, 32, from Saffron Walden, who’s mum to James, two, and Peter, nine months. ‘It’s a sign 
for my boys that it’s time for bed now.’

Solve night terrors

It can help to see things from your toddler’s point of view. ‘Lie in her bed, or crouch down so you’re head height with her cot, and look around the room,’ says Sammy. ‘From here, you can see if there are any strange shapes 
or shadows that might frighten your little one and keep her awake at night.’

Embrace the nap

‘Some mums try to train their toddler out of daytime naps in the hope that it will make her sleep better in the evening,’ says Tina. ‘All it means is that she goes to sleep exhausted, then wakes up a few hours later wanting to get up.’ So a mid-afternoon nap could help her slumber better.

Nothing working?

Don’t stress. A Canadian study has found that your baby’s ability to sleep through the night is partly down to genes, meaning it’s beyond your control. Having said that, her ability to nap in the day is controlled by your habits, so you can try setting up some sleep routines. They discovered babies aged around 18 months are particularly receptive to them, so this is a great time to start getting into good habits.


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