22 Month Old Sleep Schedule Tips
Your toddler has a mind of her own – that much is obvious. Meals, naps and bedtime are concepts that she has decided are not acceptable. You, on the other hand, are an adult and know that she needs her sleep. Establishing a 22 month old sleep schedule is vital.
According to WebMD.com, it is important for you to separate what your toddler needs from what she simply wants. Needs must be met – wants are more negotiable. For example, she needs to be comfortable, dry and full – but she might want to play longer or have you stay with her in the bedroom all night.
It is easy in theory to draw a hard line between needs and wants, but when it is your child, crying, and giving you that pitiful look, the line can blur. The balance between giving her autonomy and establishing a 22 month old sleep schedule can be tricky, but the following tips will help you succeed.
Select a nightly bedtime for this 22 month old sleep schedule. This should be adhered to seven nights a week as often as possible while establishing her routine. In addition to one or two naps during the day, she needs 11-12 hours sleep each night. You can take the time she has to rise each morning to get ready for daycare or to ride with you to drop siblings off at school and count back twelve hours to determine her bedtime. For example, if she needs to awaken at 7 every morning, the aim is to establish 7 pm as her regular bedtime hour.
Give a Warning
Let your child know that in 10 minutes she will get ready for bed. The first few times, this heads up might have zero impact, but soon it will allow her to finish up what she is doing and prepare mentally for the fact that playtime is ending soon and it is time for sleep.
This is a great time to establish the nightly bath as part of the 22 month old sleep schedule. Even if you don’t shampoo hair each day, you can fill the tub with warm water and let her play in it for 10 minutes before toweling her off and putting her PJs on.
It won’t be long before she connects playing in the warm water, with getting ready to go to sleep at night. This is also the time to get those teeth brushed so she doesn’t get stimulated by going back into the bathroom to do it later. Winding down is an important part of a 22 month old sleep schedule.
Whether you read the bedtime stories with her sitting in your lap or already in her bed/crib, what matters is that you do it the same way every night. Let her choose the books. A 22 month old and sleep schedule work out better when she gets to make some of the decisions. Reading before bed is your decision and part of the bedtime routine, but which books are read can be her decision.
Give her choices each night. This will make bedtime routines something for her to look forward to.
- Do you want your pink or blue nightgown tonight?
- Which books do you want to read before bed?
Choose a “Lovey”
Unless your toddler already has a stuffed animal that she carries everywhere she goes, find one that will be for bedtime only.
After her bath, the lovey can sit with her while bedtime stories are read. Then the lovey goes to bed too.
Your 22 month old’s sleep schedule that includes a special bedtime only stuffed animal, doll or other soft safe toys will comfort her if she wakes at night. As this schedule is followed every night, just holding this bedtime-only lovey will make your child feel sleepy.
Make it Hard to Escape
Her 22 month old sleep schedule won’t work if she can just climb over the crib rails, open the door and stroll to the kitchen for a snack. Lower the mattress to its lowest setting. Remove all stuffed animals except the one allowable bedtime lovely.
Toddlers have been known to stack stuffed animals into a pile, climb up and escape the crib.
They also use the decorative crib bumpers as ladders. During this transition to the sleep schedule for your 22 month old, remove those bumpers.
If you are using a toddler bed it can be more tricky. Remove all temptations such as toys left on the floor so that she will be less inclined to see a reason to get out of the bed.
If she escapes, do not overreact. Even bad attention is attention. Just take her by the hand, lead her back to the bed or crib, tell her it is time for bed and leave the room.
In the Beginning
When you first start this 22 month old sleep schedule, your toddler might not comply. If she continues to get out of bed, you can choose a place to stand in the hallway out of sight but close to the door.
Each time she escapes, put her back in quickly and return to the spot. She will grow tired soon and go to sleep. And with each night that her escapes are treated as boring, repetitions of the night before she will give up the idea of getting out of bed.
If your child insists on climbing over her crib rails, you can place pillows on the floor around the crib to reduce the chance of injury when she does. It won’t take long before she realizes you are not giving in, she is going to bed and she is going to sleep.
It might be a good idea to remove anything from dresser tops that she can pull down. Just as an added safety precaution, taking out anything heavy that could hurt if she got out of bed and starts exploring the room prudent.
Consistency is Key
The most important thing you can do in establishing 22 month old sleep schedule is to be consistent. For the first month, do what you can to ensure she gets to bed at the same time, seven nights a week. Perform the same routines, sing the same songs, kiss her the same way and put her to bed. Once a few months have gone by you can occasionally let her stay up a little later for special occasions and still slip right into the regular routine the following night.
This is an age of learning she can say no. It is a time to watch with delight as she exercises her newfound stubbornness when it comes to what she will and won’t eat, or share, or play with. The one place that cannot be compromised is how much sleep she gets. It is necessary for her health and her emotional comfort during the day.
No one knows your child like you do. This makes you the perfect person to establish a nightly routine for her and make sure that others acting as caretakers are aware of the routine.