Information Sharing

Toddlers and Sleep

Hi folks,

I know we just had a rich and illuminating conversation about family beds – and thank you all for that – I am looking now for something different. A mother of 2.5 year old boy having trouble keeping him in his bed since they transitioned from the crib. Yes, they have reinforced the behavior by letting him fall asleep on the couch, etc. etc. However, we used to talk about Ferber and then Karp became popular with his “Happiest Baby” and “Happiest Toddler.” Anyone have any other suggestions for supporting independent sleep and sleep through the night for children one to two years old? Thanks all –

Ruth Ettenberg Freeman

3 Comments to “Toddlers and Sleep”
  1. Hi All,

    I’ve been having email and internet issues, so I may be too late in getting
    this info to you. If anyone is interested in information on bedtime, there
    is a whole series on halting bedtime hassles, including articles about
    family beds.

    If the links get broken by word wrap, either copy/paste or go to and do a search on “bedtime” and they should come
    up. 🙂

    What Do You Do When Children Wake In The Middle of the Night and Want to
    Sleep In The Family Bed?:

    Not Sleeping Comfortably In The Family Bed?:

    Looking for Bedtime Routines To Make Bedtime Peaceful?:

    Hope this is helpful!

    Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE

  2. How about the no cry sleep solution for toddlers? You can also add a baby gate to the open door jam if safety is a concern. With him leaving his room in the middle of the night.
    When is he leaving? I have always stayed with my littles till they are asleep at that age. Reading a book telling a story prayers and then snuggles as we wind down. Its a nice time for one on one connection that we often miss throughout the day.

  3. One of my favorites for all around toddler behavior (which contains a section on sleep) is Alicia Lieberman’s book, The Emotional Life of the Toddler. She has a gentle and empathic presentation on why toddlers act the way they do as well as how to help them learn the skills to do what parents are asking of them. When talking about sleep, Dr. Lieberman suggests that whatever behavioral plan parents choose (Ferber, Pantley,etc), should be “enriched by letting the child know about it in advance and helping her come up with alternatives to crying and calling for parents.” For the verbal toddler, this respectful enlistment in finding a solution “supports the child’s need to feel safe and protected as well as the parent’s agenda to sleep.”

    This is a quick description of using empathy and teaching problem-solving which is so much a part of parenting education and frequently a novel idea to parents of toddlers.

    Barbara LeBlanc,