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Why Your Toddler Sleeps for Everyone but Mom

Experiencing that your toddler sleeps for everyone except mom can be quite a challenge. If you’re a mother who’s wrestling with this issue, you’re not alone, and most importantly, it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong as a parent. Many reasons could explain why this happens, and there are effective solutions you can employ.

Understanding the Challenge: Why a Toddler Sleeps for Everyone but Mom

The nanny, daycare providers, grandparents, and dad might report that your toddler dozes off without a hitch. Yet, when it’s mom’s turn, sleep seems elusive. You might even hear comments like, “Your child? They fall asleep as soon as they become still.” These situations can lead moms to question their parenting skills, but often, certain factors might be at play that make it challenging for your child to fall asleep with mom.

Is Your Toddler Following a Consistent Sleep Schedule?

A regular sleep schedule is crucial for toddlers. Is it possible that mom’s schedule conflicts with the toddler’s sleep routine? If mom works unconventional hours, this could disrupt the child’s sleep schedule. It’s critical to ensure that your toddler’s sleep routine remains constant, even if mom’s schedule is different.

Is Mom a Night Owl?

Toddlers are instinctively drawn to their mothers. If mom is active late into the night, the toddler might want to stay up to be with her. If you find you’re more productive during the night, consider adjusting your schedule to better align with your toddler’s sleep routine.

Could Your Toddler be Too Awake at Bedtime?

A balanced routine, including structured nap times, is essential for toddlers. Toddlers usually need a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon nap. Over-napping close to bedtime can disrupt their sleep cycle. Consider your toddler’s activity level throughout the day, and adjust their nap and sleep times accordingly.

Creating a Conducive Sleep Environment

Is the Room Too Bright?

A room that’s too brightly lit can disrupt your toddler’s sleep. This could be due to a street lamp outside their window or passing car headlights. If your toddler requires a light on, consider using a dim night light instead of a regular light.

Could Noise be a Factor?

If your toddler is a light sleeper, noise could be a factor in their difficulty sleeping. It’s essential to keep their sleeping environment as quiet as possible during nap times and at night.

Co-Sleeping and Bedtime Routines

When Should a Child Stop Sleeping with Their Mother?

The timing for a child to stop co-sleeping with their mother varies from family to family, based on individual circumstances and comfort levels. However, experts often suggest transitioning children to their own beds between 1 to 2 years of age.

How Can I Encourage My Toddler to Fall Asleep Independently?

Consistent bedtime routines, a comforting sleep environment, and clear expectations can help your toddler learn to fall asleep independently. Gradual adjustments and patient, loving guidance are key to this process.

Is It Unhealthy for a Child to Sleep with Their Parents?

Co-sleeping is a personal decision and isn’t necessarily unhealthy. However, it’s important to follow safe sleep practices. If co-sleeping is preventing parents or the child from getting a good night’s sleep, it may be time to reconsider this arrangement.

Breaking the Co-Sleeping Habit: What Can Help?

Gradual transitioning, setting up an enticing sleep environment in the child’s own room, and establishing a solid bedtime routine can help break the co-sleeping habit. Remember, patience and consistency are vital during this process.

Understanding Your Toddler’s Sleep Preferences

Why Does My Toddler Sleep Better with Grandparents or Dad?

Grandparents and dads may have different routines or ways of interacting that could make your toddler feel relaxed and ready for sleep. If your child sleeps better with these family members, consider observing their routines to identify any strategies you could incorporate into your own routine.

Do Toddlers Sleep Better Next to Mom?

Some toddlers might find comfort in their mom’s proximity, leading to better sleep. However, this can vary greatly from child to child. If your toddler has difficulty sleeping independently, gradual changes and consistency can help improve their self-sleeping abilities.

Why Won’t My Toddler Sleep Without Me?

Your toddler may find your presence comforting and reassuring. If they struggle to sleep without you, they might need more time to develop the confidence and comfort to sleep independently. It’s important to reassure your child and make them feel safe in their own bed.

Toddler’s Attachment and Parent Preferences

Why Does My Toddler Prefer Dad or Grandma Over Me at Bedtime?

Toddlers often go through phases of favoring one parent or grandparent over another. These preferences can also extend to sleep time. Keep in mind that this is usually a phase and doesn’t reflect on your abilities or relationship with your child.

Do Toddlers Prefer Mom or Dad?

Toddlers may show preference for mom or dad based on various factors, including who they spend more time with and their current developmental phase. It’s important to remember that these preferences often shift over time and are not a measure of your toddler’s love for you.


If you’ve been struggling because your toddler sleeps for everyone but mom, remember that you’re not alone and this doesn’t reflect on your parenting abilities. Consider the potential factors listed above, and make the necessary adjustments to help your child establish healthy sleep habits.

How Can Help

At, we understand the complexities of baby sleep and provide resources and guidance to help parents navigate this essential aspect of child-rearing. With a wide array of articles, guides, and expert advice, we can help you understand and manage sleep-related challenges such as the one where a toddler sleeps for everyone but mom. Let us partner with you in fostering healthier sleep habits for your toddler.