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5 Tips for Healthier Toddler Sleep

admin October 6, 2015

**This post is sponsored by My Little Big Pillow.**

In my various online groups, quite a few of the posts start like this: “I’m so exhausted.  My baby/toddler just won’t sleep!  I have tried…” it goes on to describe their situation and various woes, and ends with “How do I get my baby/toddler to sleep better?!”

Most every parent has faced this at one point or another.

The best way to help a toddler sleep is to make their sleep environment healthy.  (And address any other issues they may be having, which is a separate post.)  But how do you create a healthy sleep environment for toddlers?

I’ll show you 🙂

5 tips for healthier toddler sleep

5 Tips for Healthier Toddler Sleep

1. A Safe Mattress

Your toddler’s bed is very important.  After all, he or she will spend 10 – 12 hours per night lying on it.  Is it filled with flame-retardant chemicals that s/he’s breathing in?  Seek an organic or natural mattress if possible.  For our kids, we didn’t want to spend a ton on mattresses that they could ruin or outgrow, so we bought standard twin mattresses and covered them in these mattress bags.  They seal air-tight so the kids don’t breathe in the chemicals on the mattresses, and it also protects the mattresses from bed bugs (although we haven’t had any!), accidents, spills, etc.  We use organic mattress pads and sheets on top of these, to create a budget-friendly, safe bed.

2. A Healthy Pillow

A healthy pillow means many things.  It means one that doesn’t contain a bunch of chemicals.  It means one that is supportive for a toddler’s developing neck.  I recently learned about My Little Big Pillow, an organic pillow that is made from shredded latex (no chemical-laden cotton or polyester).  It’s supportive for a toddler, hypo-allergenic, and dust-mite-resistant.  Your toddler’s face is directly in his/her pillow all night…so this matters.  At $38, it’s actually rather cheap for a quality pillow (many similar adult pillows run $100 – $150), and it should last for a few years at least.  Our 2-year-old has one and likes it!

Until October 8th only, get 15% off My Little Big Pillow with code OXONB2E6!  (That makes it only $32, which is a really great deal.)

3. A Little Magnesium

Once we set up a safe sleeping space, we needed to help our children fall asleep easier.  One thing that we use regularly is this good night lotion.  Magnesium and lavender help to promote restful, healthy sleep — falling asleep easier and staying asleep longer.

4. Appropriate Darkness

Sleeping in darkness is definitely better than sleeping in light.  Our bodies — and toddlers’ bodies — don’t make melatonin correctly when there is any kind of yellow or blue light around.  No light is best.  But, since toddlers don’t always like to sleep in the dark, a red nightlight is a good compromise.  Red lights don’t disrupt our night-time hormones, so they make a good nightlight.  They’re available at most stores.

5. Essential Oils

An essential oil blend can help to keep the air in your child’s room clean, as well as promoting restful sleep.  Try this Nighty-Night blend (I haven’t yet) in a diffuser.  Lavender oil works for many as well.

Bonus tip!  If you’re a breastfeeding mama who pumps, make sure to either nurse your baby/toddler directly in the evenings, or give milk that was pumped in the evenings.  The hormone profile changes throughout the day, and the milk pumped at night is best suited to help your child sleep, while day time milk helps your toddler stay alert.  It’s a small thing, but if your child is struggling, it’s worth a try!

With a healthier sleep environment, and a happy toddler, more sleep is likely!  These have worked really well for us to get consistent 8 – 10 hour nights from everyone 2 and up in our home.

How do you promote healthier toddler sleep?

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  1. We bed share. At 2.5 she started sleeping a whole night without waking, but since her waking just meant lifting my shirt and letting her nurse, it didn’t bother me :-).

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  2. The link for the child pillow does not work

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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