You can encourage your toddler to sleep in their own bed by:
- Being on the same page as your partner about your toddler’s sleep plan
- Making a plan and sticking to it, even if your child is unhappy
- Establish a bedtime settling routine
- Follow your bedtime routine whenever your toddler is going to sleep (including naps during the day)
- Tuck your toddler into their bed and stay with them until they are calm
- If your toddler wakes and comes to your room, guide them back to their bed
- Give your toddler gentle instructions, such as “Lie in your bed, it’s time for sleep now.”
- Praise your child when they stay in their own bed all night
- Make sure your toddler’s bed is warm and comfortable
Co-sleeping with your toddler may be a difficult habit to break, both for you and your child. But, co-sleeping with young children increases the risk of Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI) and can negatively impact parents’ sleep.
If you are trying to encourage your toddler to sleep in their own bed, try the tactics above or take our positive parenting course to learn more about safe sleep and settling.
You should start toilet training your toddler when they show signs they are ready. This typically happens at 2-3 years of age. Start by sitting your toddler on the toilet (or potty) for a few minutes at a time. Do this at regular intervals throughout the day, and about 30 minutes after meals. If your child does a poo at certain times of the day, put them on the toilet at those times.
Once your toddler is used to going to the toilet, start asking them if they need to go. This helps your child identify when they need to use the toilet.
Praise their attempts while learning – even sitting on the toilet is an achievement the first few times. Expect accidents along the way, but don’t make a big deal about cleaning up the mess. You can opt for absorbent, toilet training underwear to help your toddler feel more secure.
Help your child wipe their bottom and teach them how to flush the toilet after using it. Teach your toddler to wash their hands after they use the toilet or potty.
Above all, be patient and avoid making toilet training a stressful experience. If possible, try to stay at home for the first few days of toilet training so that any accidents aren’t a big deal.
As a parent, you can deal with toddler tantrums by helping them regulate their emotions and behaviour. Remain calm, soothing, caring and rational until the tantrum passes. This helps your toddler process their big emotions.
Keep in mind that toddlers are largely unable to understand their own emotions. Toddlers’ brains are still developing and they don’t have the logical thinking skills to express big emotions in a rational way. It’s your job to reassure and nurture them.
You can also manage things that may be triggering your toddler’s tantrums, such as:
- Physical illness
Picky eating is common in toddlers. New textures, flavours and foods may be rejected at first, and many new parents worry their child is undereating. On an average day, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends that children aged 2-3 should be eating:
- 1 serve of meat
- 2.5 serves of vegetables
- 4 serves of grains
- 1 serve of fruit
- 1.5 serves of dairy
This is a guideline only. Children have an innate ability to sense when they are hungry. As the parent, you should decide what and when to offer food, but you should allow your toddler to decide how much they eat.
If your toddler consistently rejects food at mealtimes, explore a positive parenting course for tips on managing eating. Also be mindful of how much snacking your child does throughout the day (especially around mealtimes). When introducing new foods, allow your toddler to explore by touching and tasting, and allow them to feed themselves as much as possible.
Consult your GP if you’re concerned about the amount your toddler is eating.