Toddler Sleep

Written by: Laura Hunter, LPN & Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN



Time to read 4 min

Here at Moms on Call , we know that toddlers across the globe are not getting the amounts of uninterrupted sleep that they need. We know because we talk with incredible parents daily, listening to their toddler sleep struggles and mapping out effective plans that serve their goals. And we get to celebrate their wins, and we would like to celebrate yours. (And by “wins” we mean entire households being restored to 10-12 hours of sleep - in a row - in their own rooms - like clockwork). So if this is not you, read on.

Toddlers need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep in a row every night and we, as parents, need them to have that too.

Toddlers can learn to sleep in their room and stay there all night. We know the process is neither easy nor fun. When we transform nighttime from chaotic, unpredictable, and restless to peaceful and relaxing, the entire household benefits, marriages improve, and on occasion, more babies are made.

We know that having all the pieces of the sleep puzzle in place gives our toddlers the most incredible opportunity to learn.

We also know that the learning process involves some crying. However, it is not as daunting when we understand how toddlers learn and all the things that affect nighttime sleep.

Follow these basic toddler sleep principles:

  • Have a LOUD white noise machine in the child’s room – white noise only, and it stays on all night.
  • Keep the room cool at around 68-72 degrees.
  • Child-proof the toddler’s room – don’t forget to remove those strings that hang from the blinds.
  • Turn the door handle around so it locks from the outside. Then, if there is a fire, you will know right where they are, preventing them from locking themselves in their room at other times. Besides, they once slept in a crib with bars… keep them safe (which is what a locked door does when they move to a toddler bed).
  • Do not allow daytime naps to last longer than 3 hours or past 5 pm.
  • After dinner, give the children a chance to burn off some of that pent-up energy, then give them a nice warm bath – if you have more than one toddler or more than one child, you can bathe them together once the baby can sit in a bath seat, then it is in the room for PJs and nighttime by 8 pm at the latest. (See MOC schedules in the APP)
  • Read 1-2 books, go over the household rules, which you can learn more about in the Moms on Call Toddler Book, or join us as we talk about it in our online class and then say, “I love you. I believe in you, and I will see you when the sun comes up.” Then leave, close the door and see them when the sun comes up.
  • And this is VERY important. We cannot “make up” for lost sleep. Start the day at 7 am no matter how much sleep they get during the night. We are setting their inner 24-hour clock as we begin this process. So, it is not about how much sleep they got that day or night; it is about setting the inner clock for the long game.

What do we know about toddler sleep?

Any behavior that gets you back in the room will be repeated. You can close and lock the door if you need to keep them in their room and in that safe, ideal sleep environment.

Your toddler will be just fine. They will learn to sleep in their room. Your toddler will sleep all night if we send them consistent messages and give them the amount of time it will take to learn healthy sleep habits. This can take between 5 days-2 weeks.

Allowing a child who is engaged all day and is in a temperature-controlled environment in a room decorated just for them who is one doorway away from their loving parents is not torture.

Toddlers learn by routine and consistency. If we place them in the ideal sleep environment and consistently show up every morning at 7 am, their little internal clocks will adjust to this routine in about five days to 2 weeks.

How do we know? Well, we have partnered with thousands of families to help them implement these principles effectively. We have seen it work over and over. We have seen lives transformed, marriages saved, and parents who were well-rested enough to enjoy the adventure of parenting toddlers. Please take a look at the testimonials at to let our clients tell their own stories.

We also know that many of you need to know the reasoning behind these methods before you can effectively implement them in your household.

That is why we have online courses explaining the process in more detail. In addition, the online course covers the most commonly asked questions about the process.

Parents are the best ones to decide how to handle nighttime sleep. You can be a good parent and love your child whether or not you follow the above guidelines. This is simply the method we have seen work so many times over. We would be irresponsible not to share with tired and desperate parents looking for answers.

We know that you love your toddlers! Naturally, you want what is best for them, and we know the principles outlined above really work.

Shop the Moms on Call toddler online class! You will get everything you need, including a voice of experience, hope, encouragement, and truth.

Co-Founders of Moms on Call

Laura Hunter, LPN and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN

Co-Founders of Moms on Call, Pediatric Nurses and Moms to 8 kids between them, Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker created Moms on Call to simplify parenting. Through their books, online courses, podcast and content, they help parents everywhere navigate the first four years with confidence and better sleep.

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