2-year-old, who's now in a big-boy bed, insists on me putting him to bed with a bottle. He used to sleep from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., and now he wakes up between 6 and 6:45 a.m.
Any advice to help him sleep later?
Yes, your 2-year-old has outgrown the need for a bottle
before bed but, just like anything else, he’s used to it, so it feels very
comforting to him. It’s what he’s known for his whole little life. Also, it
sounds like you’re putting him to bed with a bottle (in his bed) or feeding
him a bottle right before bed, which you want to shift, so he can brush his
teeth. Those cavities can come on quickly when there’s milk involved before bed.
My suggestion is to be very empathetic and also very clear
with him that you have a new way of doing things before bed. Talk about how it’s
important to take care of his teeth and that you’ll have new steps to the
routine. At his age, he can have milk with dinner and sips of water until
bed—no need to drink a bottle of milk.
On the early rising front, you’d be surprised what a
toddler’s body considers a normal wake up time. Actually, 6 a.m. is a good wake-up time
for a child his age, as long as he’s going to bed at 7 p.m. I’d recommend
protecting his bedtime and making sure he has the opportunity to sleep at least
11 hours before his 6 to 6:45 a.m. wake-up time. Make the room dark and use
white noise to see if you can help him sleep in longer, but don’t be surprise
or think something is wrong if he’s greeting you at 6 a.m. Toddlers are notoriously early risers.
Do you have a sleep question you want Heather to answer for Sleep Fix? Email her at email@example.com. Sleep expert Heather Turgeon, co-author of "The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night's Sleep—Newborn to School Age," will fix your family's sleep problems in this space as she does in her Los Angeles-based sleep consultations. Turgeon's solutions are nonjudgmental, kind and—best of all—based on science.
No situation is too challenging. Leave your sleep problem on the Mom.me Facebook page. Let's all get a good night's sleep, finally.