As children move into the toddler years, they gradually eliminate their naps. However they need several hours of sleep at night, usually 11 to 12 hours. Many parents find that their toddlers who have given up their daytime naps are very cranky at night. Even though they are very tired, they still have a hard time going to sleep.
One bad habit that parents shouldn't continue to nurture is having their kids go to sleep only when they are around. It's critical they teach their toddlers how to soothe themselves as they lie down and go to sleep. What can often help is a normal, nighttime routine that ends with bedtime, including a bath, reading books, then goodnight time. This can be followed by parents ensuring their child that they are safe that they will check on them periodically to ensure they are ok, which inevitably leads to sleep.
Make no mistake, your child will challenge you on this. Often toddlers will do anything they can to extend their time with parents, and this means prolonging bedtime. This can lead to extending their nighttime routine, constantly requesting for help in their room, asking for a cookie, etc. However, parents shouldn't fall for these types of delay.
It's critical to let them know that whatever they are preoccupied with will still be there in the morning, and then be more firm at bedtime than at any other. Once tucking them in, promptly say goodnight and don't prolong things, giving them opportunity to fuss and delay. Tuck them in, reassure you'll check on them, then leave and close the door.
The right bed is important as well. If your child is still in his crib, you may want to consider toddler beda toddler bed. Some cribs will convert into a toddler bed by removing one or more of the rails. However if your crib does not, you can purchase a good toddler bed that will last your child several more years.
Bedtime is emotional for kids and parents and often turns into a battle of child/parent control. Kids will always be attached to their parents and want more time with them, especially when they know a long night is ahead of them. While you can't force them to go to sleep, you can create a routine that is comfortable for them, but puts you in control.
If you are struggling with toddler sleeping problems, take comfort in knowing that you are not the first to face it and it will end. It's one of the many toddler transitions that parents must face during these important years.