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Expert Advice

5 tips to get your toddler to sleep-in

We don't all love the early-starts that having young children bring. Read our five tips to help your toddler sleep-in a little longer.

Although we can't guarantee a sleep-in (not in the pre-baby sense anyway), check out our tips for getting your little ones to hit the snooze button.
1. How much sleep has he gotten? Toddlers rarely need more than 10-12 hours sleep a night, so if you're little one went to bed at 7pm and is waking up at 5am, it might be an idea to move his bedtime back an hour or so. Although, be warned… this doesn't always work and can leave you with a tired and grumpy toddler if he still calls-out at the crack of dawn.
2. Is something waking him? Check out your little one's environment… is there something rousing him in the wee-hours? If there's sunlight streaming into his window, consider block-out curtains or blinds. Or if it's a wet nappy, consider changing brands to a more absorbent one for overnight.
You might never get a sleep-in like you did pre-kids, but every little bit helps! Getty Images
3. Set a 'wake-up' clock. While your toddler won't be able to tell the time on a clock, you can set boundaries around wake-up time using a nightlight and timer or sleep-trainer. Set the time for 10 minutes later than he usually wakes up, and put it forward every three nights. Talk to your child and explain what the light is for, and explain that only "when the light is on, can they get out of bed". If he wakes before the light is on (or the trainer has indicated it's wake-up time), quietly go into his room and remind him of the rules and leave. Be patient with this method – it won't happen overnight but the benefits once it kicks- in will be long-lasting.
WATCH: Baby twins pretend to sleep when they hear their mum. Continues after video ...
4. Quiet playtime. If your toddler is waking up early and is happy and chatty, chances are he's had enough sleep. So if the idea of dancing to the Wiggles at 5.30am isn't one that tickles your fancy, encourage quiet play in your child's bed by placing some quiet "morning toys" within reach, and reminding him that they are there to play with in the morning.
5. Learn to grin and bear it. Some little ones are simply early-risers and you might just have to change your routine rather than theirs if you're struggling to cope with the early morning wake-up. So if you're a night-owl who usually hits the pillow at midnight, you might just have to set yourself a more reasonable bedtime.

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