3 Toddler Bedtime Tips to Remember!

Judy More, Paediatric Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist


Getting toddlers to go to sleep can often be one of the more stressful parts of the day. The Infant & Toddler Forum is here to help with our toddler bedtime tips!

Toddlers ideally need about twelve hours of sleep a day, which will give them the best chance for healthy development and growth. As anyone with a sleep deprived toddler would surely agree, getting enough sleep can also make for a much happier child! Sleeping for the recommended time can improve their behaviour in different ways, making them better eaters, for example, as toddlers do not eat well if they become overtired. To avoid this, and help make bedtime stress free, here are our top 3 toddler bedtime tips!

  1. Tired toddler? Try a regular routine!
    All parents know that it can be difficult at times to get children settled and ready for bed! A regular bedtime routine is a really important part of avoiding a sleep deprived toddler! TV and other screen time, such as on tablets, should be limited to just 1 hour a day, and especially in the period just before bedtime.
  1. Keep your little one moving!
    Toddlers will sleep better after an active day! The Department of Health recommends that toddlers should be physically active for at least 3 hours a day if they can, which is about a quarter of the time that they are awake. It is completely fine for these hours to be made up of short bursts of activity spread out over the whole day, and for this activity to be very energetic or at a gentler pace!
  1. Think cups not bottles
    Although toddlers may find comfort in a bottle of milk in bed at night, it is best to not give drinks in a bottle, as they can become difficult to give up at a later date. Offering a cup of milk before cleaning their teeth and a bedtime story when they are in bed is the best alternative!

If you liked our list of toddler bedtime tips be sure to share them with friends and family!

For more tips on encouraging a healthy routine for your toddler, visit our Ten Steps for Healthy Toddlers

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Further Reading

  • By Melanie Pilcher and Dr. Gillian Harris Establishing bedtime routines for toddlers and young children
  • By Dr. Gillian Harris, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Birmingham and ITF member Most parents will struggle at some point to get their toddlers to eat certain foods. Is toddler food refusal a sign of an eating disorder. or is it merely a phase? In the run up to Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Gill Harris provides practical advice to help parents tackle fussy eating in toddlers.  
  • By Lucy Upton, on behalf of the Infant and Toddler Forum On behalf of the members of the Infant and Toddler Forum, I am proud to announce the launch of a new infant feeding educational programme, which includes practical resources for frontline healthcare professionals (HCPs) working with parents and infants.