Toddler Bedtime Routine

*This post is written in collaboration with Leesa. I was provided the mattress in exchange for my review, which is honest and reflects our experience. Thank you as always for supporting the brands that support Stang&Co!

In parenting, I learned hard and fast that no two children are the same. The minute we brought home our second child, it was clear that while they were both boys, that was about the only thing they had in common. Their personalities are complete opposites of one another, so I suppose I should not be surprised that their sleep habits are completely different, too. Jackson is my snuggler. For the longest time he couldn’t fall asleep if he wasn’t twirling mine or my husband’s hair in his tiny fingers, and he needed the physical touch of another person to fall asleep. We had to lay with him in his bed for the longest time, and it was not an easy habit to break. At all.
Lincoln was a different story entirely. He was a terrible sleeper early on; around 6-7 months he was still waking three to four times per night, and on the brink of insanity, we determined that we would make him cry it out and we would not crack because something had to change. Fortunately for us, it really only took one hour of crying on the first night, and two to three days of crying for ten minutes or so at naptime and he was sleeping twelve hours straight. And a year later, that is still how he rolls. He loves to be laid down awake, and is all about self soothing. He falls asleep on his own, and really only wakes up at night if something is wrong. Meanwhile, his older brother still wakes during the night and at least half of the time climbs into our bed at some point.
We decided that maybe it was time to start transitioning Lincoln from his crib to a big boy bed. He loves his independence and we thought it might be time. We went ahead and got him a new Leesa mattress, and couldn’t wait to make the transition. But immediately we felt ourselves slammed with reservations. The boys’ bedrooms are upstairs, and we have a two story staircase with no turns or breaks, meaning if he should stumble and fall, he has a long way down. We know there are methods to prevent this, like a baby gate on the door, but we really reflected a bit on how he currently sleeps, and figured, ‘if it isn’t broken, why fix it?’ He sleeps so wonderful, is easy to put down, and who knows how the big boy bed transition will affect that. Basically, we got cold feet on making the switch.
We didn’t need to worry about the new mattress though. The second we opened the box (because yes, Leesa delivers their foam mattresses right to your front door in a neat and tidy box), Jackson claimed it as his own. He has been sleeping on a very generic mattress we picked up at a home improvement store, I kid you not. It did the job, but that boy knew the second he laid down on a Leesa that it was the better option. It is so soft, plush, yet still provides support. We figured that if we are holding off on transitioning Lincoln, Jackson may as well use it instead. In all honesty, it may be a good thing we didn’t let Lincoln use it; Jackson immediately noticed the white stripes on the mattress, perfect for being used as a ‘race track’, and there was no getting him to turn the mattress back over.
He still is a more difficult child when it comes to sleep, and we have been trying constant strategies lately to get him sleeping better. As he grows, he is becoming more fearful at night, but then he is also afraid of the sound machine and light we have in his room. So any tips and tricks are welcome when your child is afraid of the dark but also afraid of the nightlight 😉 One thing is for sure though; since moving him onto the Leesa mattress he LOVES to climb into bed and snuggle up on his bed with his new pillow. It is so obvious how much more comfortable and secure he feels on his new mattress. I cannot put into words how soft and inviting it is; I have found myself tempted to snuggle up along side him and sleep on it a time or two.
In addition to the new mattress making him more willing to get into (and stay!) in bed, we have a few other things we have done.
    • Applying essential oils before bedtime can work wonders. We have a few oils we use, but lavender really seems to be the winner time and again. I notice a difference when the boys go to bed without oils on for sure.
    • Sound machines. I think having background noise is key for children sleeping well and not being woken up by every little sound. Jackson’s room is right above the garage and laundry room, so there are lots of little sounds that can pull him out of sleep, and sound machines help to cover those background noises!
  • Limiting light. It always seems like common sense to have some light in the room to keep your children from being afraid of the dark, but light can actually wreak havoc on kids sleeping soundly through the night. It has required some talking and assuring there is nothing to be afraid of, but dark rooms tend to get us the best night’s sleep.
  • Spending time calming down before bedtime. Lincoln goes to bed about 45 minutes before Jackson, so I have really started to implement that once brother is asleep, the toys get put away and we have ‘relaxing time’. Our kids never seem to do well when they are up and at ’em and are suddenly jolted and put to bed. Having half an hour or so to decompress and not be active seems to help both boys mentally prepare for sleep.

Lincoln may not have the mattress for himself, but he sure loves to play on it whenever he gets the chance 😉

Leesa offers a 100 day trial period for their mattresses. You can also take $100 off of your own with code STANGANDCO. It is recommended to give thirty days to adjust to the mattress, and if at that point it is not everything you expected, they will coordinate a pick-up right from your house and will refund you. We truly love the mattress though, and will be keeping it for sure. And while Lincoln may not be quite ready for his big boy bed, he certainly loves playing on big brother’s bed in the meantime, if the picture above doesn’t give it away 😉
What are some of your hacks for getting little ones to sleep? As a parent of young children, there is just NOTHING more precious than a good night of sleep for everyone.


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    Beautifully Candid
    February 20, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    I love that they deliver this right to your door! We recently took the crib rail off of my little guy's bed making it a "big boy" bed, but this is great to look into for the next step. That's perfect that Jackson gets to use this one now! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

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