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Sleep Safety: Toddlers

If your child no longer sleeps in a crib and is now sleeping (hopefully) in a bed, there are a few major safety reminders to keep at the forefront of your mind.

Up until recently, your baby (now toddler) has been in the safety of their crib; four walls to protect them. You may remember being warned about keeping the crib far from a window, out of arms reach for long cords or strings (window pulls), outlets, or anything they can pull into their crib and get hurt with. This was a bit easier than where you are now!

Giving a child the full reign of their bedroom means they can climb on furniture, open drawers, tip things over, exit their room, and go near windows. None of these are ideal, so let's talk about what you can do to prevent any scary situations.

  1. Secure furniture in the room. Tall dressers and book shelves should be anchored into the wall to prevent anything from tipping over.

  2. You may not THINK your child will tip over a dresser, but it's common for children to open all the drawers on their dresser. What's more - is when they go INside the drawers! This can cause the most well-behaved child to make a life changing impact by the dresser tipping over onto them.

  3. Use outlet covers to prevent them from putting anything (including their fingers) into the socket.

  4. Keep windows locked at all times. If windows are open, ensure there are screens secured.

  5. If your child is a flight risk and comes out of their room regularly, be sure to use hallway night lights, and perhaps consider putting up a gate at their door or the top of the steps.

  6. Keep all non-child friendly equipment or household items out of reach. If you have a closet in the room with items you do not want them accessing, a child proof door lock will be helpful. I have seen children empty entire shelves out in rebellion at bedtime. The more secure things are in advance, the less tempted they will be.

  7. Keep sleep tools at arms reach: this refers to your sound machine, night light/hatch, humidifier, alexa, etc. The higher these things are, the more safe everyone will be.

  8. When your child is awake, talk to them about safety. Explain that some things are only for mommy/daddy to touch or play with. Be real with them - transparency and honesty will go farther with your toddler than you may realize. Explaining that they CAN touch these things with your permission and with you in the room, will help teach them boundaries and good behavior.

  9. Don't forget to reward your child for good behavior at bedtime or in the morning. This may be a sticker chart, a chocolate chip, or a high five! Whatever you decide to do, positive reinforcement helps children feel proud of themselves and more likely to repeat the right behavior again.

Good luck! Happy Sleep Training,


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