Toddler Naps and Sleep

In this video, parenting expert and counselor Janeen Hayward of swellbeing talks about what you need to know about toddler sleep. She discusses bed-time routines, nap schedules and the optimal amount of sleep toddlers need. Join Janeen in this segment to learn what to if your toddler keeps getting out of bed and many other techniques to enhance toddler sleep quality and quantity.


Below is a PDF of tips from Janeen Hayward.

Toddler Sleep FAQ
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Janeen Hayward is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in the states of New York and Illinois and certified Gottman Educator. She graduated from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. In graduate school, Janeen counseled children and adolescent survivors of sexual abuse, many of whom were teen parents. Upon graduating, she directed a training program for graduate students in clinical psychology at a grade school in Chicago, offering play therapy and group counseling to school-aged children. This is where the seeds of swellbeing were sown; the idea being the best way to help children is to help their parents. After working in that school-based program for three years, she moved to New York City and has been working with new and expecting parents on infant and toddler sleep issues and adjusting to new parenthood, ever since. She is the proud mother of a daughter.

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4 Responses to Toddler Naps and Sleep

  1. Janeen Hayward says:

    Many of the behaviors you described your daughter engaging in at bedtime (pleas for more drinks, cuddles, etc) are all very typical of children her age. These stalling techniques are a way children delay the eventual separation from you. It is helpful to build these things into your routine so you aren’t running back in (even occasionally) to indulge. For some children, giving in even once can build an expectation that you might come, which is enough to keep them up. Or, sometimes they will be awake long enough that they become overtired and have a much harder time falling asleep. This sounds like what your daughter might be experiencing (especially given the occasional night waking). My advice is:

    1. Move her bedtime earlier (20 minutes at a time) to see if she will fall asleep more easily. I know this is counter-intuitive, but if she is overtired, this is key.

    2. Build a last drink, last snuggle, etc, into your routine. Follow through.

    3. Make the room as dark as possible. The less she can see, the less engaged she’ll be in her waking life.

    4. Give her a lovey that smells like you to snuggle with in your absense.

    5. Make your bedtime routine 10 minutes longer and snuggle/read with her a little longer before lights out — all in her room.

    Good luck!

  2. Lara says:

    Great video, thanks! Our problem with our 2 year old is getting her to fall alseep….we can have her in her crib by 8:00 after a soothing routine but she often won’t settle to sleep until 10:00. She will happily sing or talk to herself for a while, whine a bit, ask for mommy or daddy, want to cuddle, or want the “one more” drink of water, etc. We have tried not going in the room or saying outside her door “go to sleep, we love you, see you in the morning” but nothing seems to work. She wakes at about 8:00 regardless of when she fell asleep,and sometimes is up once at night, sometimes not. She naps around 1:30-3:00. So frustrating. thanks!

  3. Laura says:

    Hi Susi,

    Thanks for letting us know! We are so happy this was of help to you. Stay tuned for more to come!

  4. Susi says:

    This video on Toddler Sleep was so helpful! Really answered all of my main questions, and one’s I didn’t even know to ask.


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