Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
Ask a Therapist
We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
Ask a Therapist
Solid Sleep Plan: A Toddler's Bed
By Todd Wolynn, MD, MMM, IBCLC
Kid's Plus Pediatrics
“My toddler has his own bed, but he won't sleep in it. He will
scream and cry until I bring him into my bed.”
You present a toddler with a piece of chocolate and a piece of
broccoli. You look at the toddler with love and kindness and say,
“Now eat your broccoli.” When the child eats the chocolate instead,
would you be surprised?
Think of your toddler’s bed as the broccoli. It’s good for her, and it
helps her to grow. It helps her develop independence and confidence in her
sleep process, and it pays lifelong dividends for her sleep quality.
Think of your bed as the candy. It’s fun, and it’s a special treat. He
gets to interact with his a parent (or two), and he might even get his back
Which do you think they’ll choose? Which would you choose?
We’re talking toddlers here -- masters of their own domain, champions of
immediate gratification, forces that do not take “no” for an answer! They’re
concrete thinkers: my boring bed vs. my parent’s fun bed. Can you even begin
to argue with that reasoning?
You have to, if you want your toddler to be able to self-settle, and to
sleep (and nap) both comfortably and successfully in his or her own bed.
So, recognizing that a toddler will be neither rational or understanding
of your insistence that he sleep in his own bed, you need to be prepared for
toddler tactics. And prepare yourself well, because they’re very effective.
They may not be diabolical adversaries, but they’re savvy ones. And they
know to go with what works.
You tell your toddler its time for bed and say, “Let’s go to your room for
your bedtime story.” And then, the response...
- Cute: He gets his teddy bear and heads to your room.
- Evasive: She runs and hides.
- Ornery: He turns into a cross between a greased pig and a crocodile.
- Linguistic: “Water!” “Milk!” Potty!” “Ouch!” “Scared!”
If it works in the day, it makes sense to try it at night. And it makes
even more sense to combine one of those tactics with the big C-bomb:
If they’re not getting the cookie or the toy, being told they have to leave
the playground, or they just don’t like Mom’s choice of sleeping
arrangement, the best protest and most effective protest tactic they have is
the strong cry, big tear combo.
The best defense you can have are a clear, solid sleep plan and the
resolve to see it through. Consistency and determination are paramount. For
one that we’ve developed, and that many of our parents swear by, download
this PDF from Kid's + Pediatrics,
Sleep Handout Ages 6 Months-2+Years by Dr. Todd Wolynn.
More Parenting Tips Related to Behavior
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
Return to Top