THE TODDLER ROADMAP SERIES 2: Episode 16 – Getting Your Toddler to STAY In Their Bed!

"Everything you need to raise a happy, confident, resilient toddler 
undamaged by living through a pandemic!"

Show notes:

In this episode we will be looking at how to settle your toddler in their bed and looking at tips for making sure that they stay in their bed until morning without crawling to your bed in the middle of the night!!!

In this episode:

  • 8 ways to stop kids from sleeping in your bed.
  • ​Fun Activities for Teaching Toddlers to Talk
  • ​Tips for Handling The ‘Sleep Regression’ Phase 
  • ​​How to know if your child is sleepy or need some rest.

Getting your toddler to STAY in their bed and to stop sleeping in your bed can be a hard habit to break.

While lots of parents love to have the kids, all jumping in and cuddling up on a Saturday morning, night after night of interrupted sleep isn’t funny for anyone. The flaying legs, the pulled off duvet and the grumpy partner in the morning aren’t always the idyllic dream of family life you wanted it to be.

So, what can you do when the kids have got into some bad habits, have recovered from that chesty cold, have finished with that nightmare or come through that divorce?

Convincing your child to sleep in their own bed again can be a challenge once they’ve got into the habit of sleeping with you – as let’s face it it’s cosy, safe and reassuring.

Whether your child refuses to fall asleep in their own bed or ends up crawling into your bed in the middle of the night, kids who don’t want to sleep alone can be persistent.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reclaim your bed if you’re tired of sharing.
Here are 8 ways to stop kids from sleeping in your bed.
1. Make Your Child’s Room Sleep-Friendly
2. ‘Talk & Teach’ your Child to Self Soothe.
3. Create Clear Expectations
4. Take it One Step at a Time
5. Establish a Helpful Bedtime Routine
6. Be Consistent
7. Use Positive Reinforcement
8. Problem-Solve Together
    To get the full explanations of these tips go here:

    Fun Activities for Teaching Toddlers To Talk

    A lot of parents worry about their toddlers not talking, particularly due to the pandemic and the lockdowns. It's very common for children to go through a period when they don't say very much, but it can also be concerning if you notice your toddler isn't using any words at all. If that sounds like the case with your child, then always talk to your doctor but here are some tips and activities for teaching toddlers to talk that will help.

    Research has shown that children who receive more language stimulation in their early years have a significant advantage when it comes to vocabulary and overall communication skills. This is why it’s important for you to engage in activities that help your toddler’s speech and language skills.
    • Some activities that are great for this include singing songs, reading stories, and playing peek-a-boo. These activities will help toddlers learn to talk and also to help them express themselves better. So, sing songs together!
    • ​Playing games is another fun way to encourage toddlers to talk. Board games, card games, and even simple games like “hide and seek” can help get toddlers talking.
    Make sure to take the time to listen to your child and encourage them to explain what they are doing or how they are feeling. That will help them develop self regulation and help reduce their temper tantrums due to frustration.
    • Playing games like "I Spy" is a great way to help your toddler learn new words. Play “I Spy” with your child and ask them to guess the object you are thinking of ( don’t start with the letter yet!) And you can play this classic game anywhere!
    • ​Describe your everyday activities - when you are out walking, eating, getting ready for bed - and ask your toddler questions about what you're doing – point out cars, ambulances, cranes, buildings, birds 
    This is a great way to encourage your toddler to talk. Describe your everyday activities and ask your child open ended questions about what you're doing which will encourage them to chat and talk with you.
    • Expand and repeat back what your toddler has said to you – to expand their vocabulary ‘Oh yes I can see the big, red bus too’ 
    • ​Encourage friends over to play as this provides opportunities to interact with others. Arrange family dinners, BBQ’S and play games together, or take walks in the park or play around in the garden together.

    Pause to Ponder This Week:

    How can you be more consistent this week with putting your toddler back in their bed?
    I have filmed and written tips for Disney’s ‘The Gift of Play’ website. Get inspired and spark the magic of imaginative play with my tips & videos in collaboration with Disney, Pixar, Star Wars™ and Marvel.

    Download & Discover ‘The Gift of Play!’ Guide

    Bursting with inspirational play ideas, arts, crafts, games, activities and puzzles!

    There’s a new feature on my Instagram: @sueatkins18


    Keep wipes and nappies/diapers in the back seat of your car so you can always change your toddler’s nappy without panicking!


    When you're tempted to say something negative – it’s much better to reframe it into something positive so kids really hear you and can act on what you want them to do.

    They’ll feel better – you’ll feel better – win – win!


    Sue Atkins Toddler Roadmap Community
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    This question was sent in to my Toddler Roadmap Community on Peanut 


    Dear Sue, my son just turned two and has started to fall out of his nap routine. He is still breastfeeding and use to be a daily napper, around 11 he would nap for 2-3 hours. Lately he hasn't been wanting to go down for a nap and gets really out of control because of this. He is climbing on tables, hitting, being destructive and crazy. Will he eventually find a new nap routine or is this just how it's going to be? Sam


    Sleep is important for a child's growth, development, and overall health. For toddlers total sleep time includes sleep at night and naps during the day. 
    While every child is different, sleep experts recommend:
    • Infants (4–12 months): 12–16 hours. Around 4 months of age, sleep rhythms start to become more set. Most babies are sleeping longer at night and have 2–3 daytime naps.
    • ​Toddlers (1–2 years): 11–14 hours. Young toddlers may still take two naps, but most drop down to one nap a day by 18 months.
    Your child may need to nap if they don’t get enough sleep at night. Most parents underestimate the amount of sleep kids need, so keep in mind recommended sleep times when planning nap times and bedtimes. Sleepy kids may rub their eyes and look tired, or they may act out or have other behaviour problems.
    Ask yourself:
    • Does my child act sleepy during the day?
    • ​Is my child cranky, whiny, or moody, especially later in the day?
    • ​Is it a battle to get my child out of bed in the morning?
    • ​Is my child inattentive, impatient, hyperactive, or aggressive?
    • ​Does my child have trouble focusing or following directions?
    The key can be as simple as setting up a consistent nap routine early on and sticking to it. Soft music, dim lights, and a quiet story can help kids settle into their naps.

    Put your toddler down for a nap while they’re sleepy but not yet asleep. This helps your child learn how to fall asleep by themselves — a skill that gets even more important as they get older.

    For toddlers and preschoolers, set regular naptimes that are not too close to bedtime. Sticking to a naptime schedule can be a challenge. Many do still love their nap, but others don't want to miss a thing and fight going to sleep. If your child gives up daytime naps, consider setting an earlier bedtime.

    Don't let naptime become a battle — you can't force your child to sleep. If your child won’t nap, set aside some quiet time. Read a story together.
    During quiet time, let your child read books or play quietly in their room. Parents are often surprised by how quickly quiet time can lead to sleep time. Even if kids don’t sleep, they still get some much-needed rest.

    It can take time to find a sleep routine that works. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your child's sleep.
    Check out my answers on Peanut here:


    Sue Atkins in Conversation with The Sleep Nanny Lucy Shrimpton

    Time To Take Action

    Sign up to my Toddler Roadmap
    My Toddler Roadmap looks at all the aspects of raising your toddler so they are not damaged by a unique time in history - living through a pandemic - & each module will help you to nurture your child’s mental health and wellbeing and this podcast is linked to my Toddler Roadmap training.

    I’m going to hold your hand, support and guide you through everything you need to know about raising happy, confident resilient kids – today’s toddlers but tomorrow’s adults!
    I want you to relax & have total confidence that you’ve got a parenting expert who’s got your back - showing you the way to happy, confident kids and knowing the pandemic didn’t damage your kids long term!

    In my TODDLER Roadmap Course and Community I will give you the step by step guide for handling toddler tantrums and why they happen, I give you the roadmap for potty training, why kids become fussy eaters and what to do about it. I show you how to build self confidence in your toddler and explain why they say ‘why?’ all the time, I give you my parenting hacks on how to handle sibling rivalry when another baby arrives, I tell you about the importance of play and how to handle when they say ‘NO!’

    I tell you how to handle whining, crying, and biting. I show you my tips for getting kids into a good bedtime routine and why that’s important. I talk about why reading with kids is so important and why singing nursery rhymes with them helps their language development. I show you how to handle night terrors and I look at the bigger picture to your parenting – not just the socks and pants of life that we all get stuck in!

    So, I’m really excited to share with you my Toddler Roadmap

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    Coming up Next Week 

    Coming up in Episode 17 Teaching Your Toddler Social Skills

    I’m constantly being asked about how to help toddlers gain confidence after the lockdowns and pandemic. Also due to mask wearing some children are finding it hard to read social cues and interact with adults and other children naturally. When it comes to social skills, the earlier you begin teaching your toddler the better.

    The prevalence of shyness among toddlers is rising and the pandemic has delayed social skills of young children, according to the Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman.
    So why not give your child a head start by teaching them the kinds of social skills that can make their life more fulfilling, exciting and fun?

    In the next episode of the Toddler Roadmap I’ll be giving you some guidance and advice to help.

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