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Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Sleep

Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Sleep

There are perhaps thousands of different tips for getting your toddler to sleep on time and through the night. You have probably heard many of these from family members or friends. There are some important ones that you really should adhere to in order to makes sure that you’re not fighting with your kids when it comes to bedtime.

  • One of the most important tips is implementing a toddler bedtime routine 30 minutes before you want them to go to sleep. Positive bedtime routines include things like a bath or shower, a book, song, massage etc. Young children strive off routine and routines really do help with not only falling asleep but also staying asleep.
  • Another tip is to aim for a bedtime of around 7pm for babies and toddlers. 7pm is a reasonable bedtime and sets up their body clock for when they need to be up in the morning between 6am-7am for kinder and school. This means that the bedtime routine should be starting at around 6.30pm.
  • If you have a toddler who still naps then try to ensure that they are awake from their nap by 3-4pm at the latest. Napping too late in the afternoon can make it hard to fall asleep at the recommended bedtime of 7pm.
  • Try to ensure that your little one hasn’t eaten their dinner too close to bedtime. Undigested food may impact on their ability to fall asleep.  
  • A toddler sleep training clock such as the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock has proven to be extremely helpful for getting toddlers not only to sleep but to also stay in bed throughout the night. The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock gets the child involved in the bedtime process as well as excited for bed.

For more information on the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock go to

Review of the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

Review of the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

There are a number of different toddler sleep training clocks on the market but there is only one that actually works….and that is the Sleepy Starz Sleep Training Clock. The clock was invented by and is sold by Sleepy Starz Pty Ltd.

Before I purchased the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock I was completely sleep deprived and feeling fed up. It was impossible to keep my 2.5 year old in bed throughout the night. Getting him to bed was the first struggle of the night and then staying in bed was the next struggle. Every night I found myself getting up 4-5 times to put him back to bed and there were times where I just gave up and let him sleep with me. A friend of mine recommended the clock to me after it had worked wonders with her little one and I was at a point where I was prepared to give anything a go so I made the purchase.

The purchase through their website was really simple and I received my clock within 3 days. The first thing that surprised me was just how easy it was to use. I’d tried another sleep training clock in the past (which didn’t work) and I found it quite difficult to use. The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock has a touch screen and there is a detailed instruction booklet as well as a page in the clock with easy to understand instructions.

The first night I tried it my son actually got excited about going to bed so he could press the buttons on the clock. We used the 15 minute countdown timer (which is a great feature) as it prepared my son for bed. During the 15 minutes we read the picture story book in the clock which is about the free teddy bear (Sleep Tight Ted) that comes with the clock. Then, we went through the choice of 7 different scenes (though my son had his mind made up from the start that he wanted to have the car scene. After 15 minutes the car went to sleep and we said good night.

The first couple of nights my son got out of bed, but only a couple of times as compared to 4-5 which was impressive. I had told my son that if he got out of bed before the car was awake in the morning then he couldn’t press the buttons the next night. It literally took 3 nights before my son stayed in bed until the car was awake in the morning. I had inputted the wake up time to 6.30am and right on 6.30am the car woke up and my son jumped out of bed proud of himself.

I have been using the clock religiously every night and it has been a lifesaver for both of us. On the weekends I sometimes change the wake up time to 7am or even 7.30am and my son never notices. I highly recommend the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock. It’s been a complete life-changer for us and it is definitely worth the $99.95 investment.

You can purchase the clock from

Daylight savings sleeping guide for stressed-out parents

Daylight savings sleeping guide for stressed-out parents

The only people not happy about daylight savings this weekend (besides those concerned the extra daylight will fade the curtains) are parents of toddlers.

For them, the beginning of daylight savings and particularly those first few weeks are hell.

No, “hell” is not too strong a word.

There is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as a torture device.

Related video: TODAY chat to sleep-whisperer Kylie Camps about her new program ‘Toddler Life’

Emily Duffell, Senior Director of Operations at Australian provider of toddler sleeping solutions Sleepy Starz, says there’s a way to manage the change to minimise disruption to toddler bedtimes.

“Whilst one hour might not seem like much, for a little child it’s actually quite a big change,” she told 9Honey.

She says children thrive off routine and adjusting bedtime by an hour doesn’t often sit well with them.

For parents, it takes a bit of extra work and Duffell says it might take two weeks for kids to adjust to the new bedtime.

“This can be challenging for parents. What’s more is that telling a child to go to sleep when it’s still light outside can be very tough.”

Duffell explains it’s our biological makeup as human beings that we sleep when it’s dark and we’re awake when it’s light.

“Darkness stimulates melatonin (the sleepy hormone) so it’s not just the time change that creates challenges, it’s also the fight to go to sleep while it’s still light outside,” she explains.

The sleep expert says parents should start adjusting bedtime routines now to ensure an easier transition once clocks change.

Toddler boy sleeping on floor

The sleep expert says to start by changing your child’s bedtime by five minutes. Image: Getty

“If the normal bedtime is 7.30pm (which come next Sunday will be 8.30pm), on the first night make the bedtime 8.25pm, the next night make the bedtime 8.20pm and keep making small adjustments until the desired bedtime routine is reached.”

She also says children may sleep a little longer as they adjust but advises to wake them up at their normal time.

“What we are actually doing is resetting the body clock and to do this, we have to keep schedules as close to normal as possible.

“Waking your child at the normal time might see them be tired for a few days because they have lost a couple of hours of sleep but before you know it, their bodies will have adjusted.”

How to let kids have fun and lots more on Super Mums with Kel, Mel and Dr Jeremy Cumpston:

Like all things with babies and toddlers, Duffell says it’s all about routine.

“If the child is old enough, it’s also a good idea to talk to them about daylight savings and explaining why it’s still light outside at bedtime. Children will adapt a lot easier to a change if they know what to expect. 

“It’s also important for parents to manage their expectations. It’s not a reasonable expectation to expect children to adapt perfectly in just a night or two.

“If parents have realistic expectations and are prepared for a week or two of some challenging bedtimes then the transition will happen a lot smoother.”

Find more toddler sleeping solutions at the Sleepy Starz website.



Getting your child to go to sleep is a skill that both the parent and the toddler needs to learn. Some parents might be lucky in that their baby seems to have this skill from day one but a lot can change when the child hits the toddler years. Their little imaginations run wild and this can cause a lot of issues with sleep!  

The beauty of being a parent is just when you think you have got your kids figured out they’ll throw a curve ball. Once you’ve got them sleeping through the night and you’ve gotten used to a full night’s sleep yourself BANG, they grow some teeth or reach a milestone and everything is in disarray.

The key to getting a toddler to fall asleep independently is routine. A positive bedtime routine is crucial and needs to be used every night. Children strive off routine and regularity. A positive bedtime routine should start approximately 30 minutes before you want your little one to go to sleep. You can play around with different things to work out what works best for your family, but once worked out it needs to happen every night! It can take only 1 night where the routine doesn’t occur for it to affect a toddler’s sleep. A positive bedtime routine can include things like a bath or shower, massage, book, song etc.

Another thing parents can do to prepare their toddler for bed it to talk to them. Toddlers are very intelligent little things and rather than surprise them with “bedtime now!” talk to them about how it will be bedtime soon and what’s going to happen. Toddlers are different from babies it that you can reason with them.

Toddler sleep training clocks are very useful bedtime tools for toddlers. There are a lot on the market but the very best one is the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock. It has more features than any other clock on the market and is customizable to suit individual children. One of the features is a 15 minute countdown which countdowns for 15 minutes prior to sleep time to prepare the child for bed. It also gets the child involved in the bedtime process and excited for bed as it provides a choice of scenes for the child to choose. It also features a picture story book and a clever lock function so settings cannot be changed. The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock is the perfect accompaniment to a positive bedtime routine for fussy toddlers. Go to for more information.



During thе timе сhаngеѕ thаt happen twiсе a year – сhildrеn’ѕ sleeping раttеrnѕ оftеn gеt thrоwn off . Keep reading for ѕоmе tiрѕ tо hеlр with thе ѕрringtimе сhаngеѕ when thе сlосkѕ gо fоrwаrd bу оnе hour.

  • On thе еvеning оf thе timе change – put your baby/child tо bеd аt thе normal time (7рm) аnd before уоu gо tо bеd mоvе all оf уоur сlосkѕ forward by one hour.
  • Set уоur аlаrm сlосk or уоur child’s аlаrm clock if thеу uѕе оnе to thеir normal wаkе uр timе (7am for еxаmрlе). Initiаllу thеir bоdу will think thаt it is 6am ѕо thеу mау be a littlе ѕlоw tо start аnd a littlе grоggу аѕ thеу hаvе missed оut on оnе hоurѕ wоrth of sleep. It саn ѕоmеtimеѕ tаkе a day оr twо – but thеn thеу will bе finе. If уоu didn’t wаkе up your сhild at thе normal time thеn thеу would рrоbаblу ѕlеер in until 8аm.
  • Stау оn the new timе all dау – dоn’t mаkе аdjuѕtmеntѕ fоr thе timе сhаngе or trу аnd compensate for thе lost hour – kеер аll nарѕ ассоrding to the nеw timе and аt thе rеgulаr nоrmаl time.
  • Keep аll mеаlѕ/fееdѕ оn thе new timе аnd at thе regular normal timе.

If you have an older child, you can also talk to them about the time change and explain to them what is happening. While time changes can effect children quite a lot, just remember that it will just take a little bit of time for them to adjust. Don’t expect miracles to happen within 1 or 2 nights. Consistency in any routine changes is important!

Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultation packages for those little ones who need a bit of extra help! Go to for more information.



Getting used to having a newborn baby can be difficult for parents. The most problematic adjustment for most parents can be getting accustomed to baby sleep patterns. It’s no secret that a new parent can expect many sleepless nights, so understanding what type of sleep their baby will be getting might help parents to realize what these first few months will be like.

A newborn baby for the most part does little more than sleep and feed. This keeps a mother busy with breast-feeding and nappy changes around the clock. Baby sleep patterns for the first 3 weeks should be a total of 16-20 hours of sleep every day. Since it’s common for them to sleep for short bursts at a time it’s important for parents to get as much support as possible. By 6 months of age a baby’s circadian rhythm really starts to develop and for this reason it’s common to start experiencing sleep issues. Before this, a baby’s body is not regulated by light and dark as an older child’s is.

With both babies and toddlers, it’s important to remember to manage your expectations as a parent. Whilst sleep deprivation can be a very tough thing, parents need to understand that frequent night waking is normal. Rather than to assume you are doing something wrong, try to relax and go with the flow. If you are not coping as well as you would like then seek support from those around you. For parents of toddlers waking up at night or waking early in the morning, it’s also important to think whether what is happening is normal before stressing about the situation too much. In the pre-school years it’s very normal for toddlers to experience night-mares and night terrors due to their imaginations really starting to develop. To help minimize night-mares and night terrors parents can limit television and technology use. Early rising in the toddler years can also be problematic. If you have a toddler waking at 5am every morning then there’s a good chance they have not had enough sleep. Further to this, the last sleep cycle that occurs at this time is very important for their development so it’s important to act on this to combat the problem. However, if you have a toddler waking at 6am, rather than stress over the situation, if they have been in bed since 7pm the night before then there’s a good chance they have received enough sleep so it’s not worth fighting to get them back to sleep.

Managing expectations as a parent can be difficult….especially if you are sleep deprived. However, if you are not sure whether what your baby or toddler is doing is normal or you need more support……it’s important to find this support. Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultation packages and we are always happy to help. Go to for more information.

Tips to Help Your Little Ones Get Through Daylight Savings Changes
Tips to Help Your Little Ones Get Through Daylight Savings Changes

There are a lot of great Sleep Consultants and Sleep Schools in Australia. Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz is a global service that only uses gentle methods of sleep training. Check out the article to find a list of consultants in each state.

One hour change in time might not seem like much. However, for a young child it’s actually quite a big deal and can throw a routine into turmoil. And further, how do you go about telling your child that it’s bedtime when it’s still light outside?

dayling savings pinnable | Stay at Home Mum

Sleeping when the sun out actually goes against our biological makeup as a human being. Our body clock works in with light and dark so you can begin to see why a child might find it confusing to be told to sleep when the sun is still shining outside. As parents, there are a number of things we can do to help our little ones get through the beginning of daylight savings and stay in a consistent bedtime routine:

We can mentally prepare ourselves that there is a challenging period of time with our kids’ sleeping coming up then I think we can cope with it better. For a lot of kids daylight savings start or end will often affect their sleep routine and we will need to adjust our normal day to-day family lifestyle/night-time routine to suit our kids at this point

  • It doesn’t last forever! Unless there is some sort of underlying medical issues such as reflux or iron deficiency, for example, most kids will jump back into a good bedtime pattern within 1-3weeks…I promise there’s light at the end of the tunnel if we do the right things!
  • Providing extra comfort is really important! Little children need a lot of comfort at the best of times, but being overtired and cranky (as they do not understand their new routine can be really hard on them!) There’s a good chance that you will need to provide extra comfort and settling techniques for between 1-3 weeks at daylight savings beginning or end. For babies, settling techniques include:
    – Feeding
    – Patting
    – Rocking
    – Singing
    – Presence in their room
    – Dummy/pacifier

Each family needs to work out what works best for them.

  • For toddlers and older children you may want to try:
    – An extra book
    – Singing
    – Presence in their room
    – Patting
    – Reasoning
    – Rewards such as stickers for performing the desired behaviours

Again, work out what works best for your family.

Preparing our kids:

Start now! In the early hours of Sunday morning, we’ll be putting our clocks one hour ahead. Move their bedtime earlier by 10 minutes each night from now, in the lead-up to daylight savings ending. Start the whole bedtime routine 10 minutes earlier and have them ready to go to sleep and close their eyes 10 minutes earlier each night. On the first night make sure they are ready for bed at 6:30pm, the second at 6:40 pm etc until you reach your desired bedtime. You might need to do this gradually over a period of 2-3 weeks as one hour is a big thing for young children. Or, it might happen really quickly! If you weren’t as prepared as a lot of us and didn’t prepare in the lead up to daylight savings end, don’t worry….its not too late! Use this same technique over the period of 1-3 weeks and I’m sure you’ll see a result!


Night routines are crucial. With the start of daylight savings or the end of a daylight savings period, there is always a change in light in the child’s bedroom. Try and stay in control of the light and what the child is used to so it doesn’t startle them come bedtime. It is widely known that light will affect melatonin levels (and melatonin is what helps us all sleep…so let’s keep it dark if possible!)

For toddlers, talk to them about possible changes that might be happening and prepare them for these changes. Toddlers understand a lot and they often do not respond well when confronted with something completely unexpected.

For younger babies who we cannot reason with try and use the above technique of changing routines in 10-minute increments. Bring a bedtime feed, or a bedtime song (whatever method you choose to help your baby settle) forward by10 minutes each night over a period of 1-3 weeks.

Written by Emily Duffell, co-founder of Sleepy Starz Pty Ltd



It’s normal for babies young children to not want to stray too far from their parents. We are animals after all and survival instincts tell our young that too much time or distance between them and us is a risky thing. For this reason, ‘separation anxiety’ and ‘stranger anxiety’ that infants and young children experience is thought to be hard-wired. That said, the intensity of this ‘normal anxiety’ differs depending on the child’s temperament and on how responsive their caregivers have been to their need for comfort and closeness.

Separation Anxiety Disorder is different. It often occurs later, causes more distress and impacts upon the child’s functioning. The anxiety is simply too much, so that instead of serving to protect the child, it upsets and impairs and is therefore considered a disorder.

Separation Anxiety Disorder is defined as developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from main caregivers, with three or more of this list occurring:

  • recurrent excessive distress when separated from home or main caregivers is anticipated
  • persistent and excessive worry about losing, or about possible harm coming to, main caregivers
  • persistent and excessive worry that an untoward event will lead to separation from a main caregiver (e.g. getting lost or being kidnapped)
  • persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of these separation fears
  • persistently and excessively fearful or reluctant to be alone or without major caregivers at home or in other settings
  • persistent reluctance or refusal to go to sleep without being near a main caregiver or to sleep away from home
  • repeated nightmares involving separation themes
  • repeated complaints of physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting etc. when separated from a main caregiver occurs or is anticipated

These symptoms need to last for four weeks or more in a child or young adolescent and cause significant distress and impairment of functioning to be considered a disorder.

Separation anxiety disorder occurs in approximately 4% of children, affecting girls and boys equally. While it can have its onset earlier, it seems to be most common in 7-8 year olds.

So why are some kids affected by Separation Anxiety Disorder? Like most mental health issues, the causes are many and varied and often it’s the contribution of several of these that’s responsible. Genetic vulnerability to anxiety, shy inhibited temperament, a recent death in the family, parental divorce, or illness in either parent or child are all factors which might contribute. Children are also very good at picking up on their parent’s cues. As a result, sometimes a child perceives (rightly or wrongly) that their parent needs them to stay close. This might be due to the parent’s own anxiety, due to their desire for the child’s company or assistance, or due to a parent’s ‘need to be needed’.

Just as the causes vary, so does the presentation of separation anxiety disorder. School refusal, reluctance to go to school camps or to friends’ houses without a parent, nightmares, insisting on sharing their parent’s bed or following family members around the house are all examples of how Separation Anxiety Disorder might present. Some children will become tearful when separated from their parent while others will tantrum, become distracted, nervous or aggressive. Parents can often feel frustrated and burnt out. It can feel hard to get the balance right between providing comfort and closeness while also promoting independence and a sense of competence.

There are a number of different tools that can help if Separation Anxiety Disorder is affecting sleep. Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz have a range of affordable sleep consultation packages to help in this area and can be viewed at Sleepy Starz also sell a revolutionary sleep training clock called the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock which can also be a comforting aspect to the bedroom at night for children suffering from this disorder. The clock can be viewed at



Food fussiness in toddlers is common yet can be very frustrating for the parent. You spend countless hours trying to come up with healthy yet tasty recipes that your little one will like……but they don’t! It’s often a constant battle and a will to survive when trying to feed your toddler a healthy and balanced diet. Check out some of our tips for feeding your child a healthy and interesting diet:

At Your Fingertips

Finger foods are one of the easiest ways to feed your toddler. Finger foods are great because they give your little one a choice and there is a huge range of foods to use. Sweet potato fries are healthy and delicious. Cheesy baked cauliflower sticks are easy to make with shredded cauliflower, cheese, eggs and flour. Cheese sticks, celery, carrot……the list goes on.

Fruit Friendly

A lot of fruits are full of fiber to helps your child’s digestion and fruit is often my ‘go to’ food when my child refuses to eat anything else. When food is a constant battle it becomes exhausting. When I have reached my limit in arguing with my child I turn to fruit. Whether it be some cut up apple, strawberries, banana or an orange…..I make sure to always have fruit in the house up.


Eggs are both nutritious and versatile. From boiled eggs, to scrambled to poached to fried……eggs are an excellent source of protein and often a food of choice for little ones.


Toddlers love exploring new things and want to be a part of it. Invest in some plastic cutlery and cook ware and get your little one involved in the kitchen. Often, children will be more inclined to eat if they are a part of the preparation process.

Make it Fun

A lot of the time, food does not look very appealing to toddlers unless it comes in the form of chips or nuggets. However, you can make a boring sandwich look appealing by cutting it into shapes for example. Or, use your finger food to make funny faces that will gain the attention of your child. Food most definitely doesn’t have to be boring!


Toddlers are known for not only their fussiness but also their stubbornness. Allow your toddler to have some control over what they eat so they feel a sense of independence. A choice of 2-3 different meal options is a great way to encourage eating.

Food fussiness in toddlers is common and normally a stage that will pass. It’s important to teach your little one healthy eating habits by eating well yourself as well offering them healthy choices.

If you are finding that your toddler’s eating habits are effecting other parts of their life such as sleep, it’s important to seek help. Go to for more information.



Our family loves to spend time together traveling. From a day trip to a weekend getaway, or flying across the continent to have a holiday in a different culture, we value and are grateful for this quality family time.

With that being said, traveling with toddlers can be quite a challenge at times. From jet lag to tantrums to being restricted in the activities you can do are all part of travelling with children. Check out our tips for making your family holiday special and stress free:

Take Your Time

We recently had a family holiday to Thailand. In the past when my husband and I have gone together before we had children, we packed so many things into our day. From the beach, to island tours, to partying at night….there was never a boring moment. However, with toddlers in tow things are a little different. The biggest thing we found was that we couldn’t do anywhere near as much each day. However, this was a blessing in disguise. We didn’t plan a lot of our days and were happy lounging around the pool and taking strolls into the markets.


If travelling to a different country (especially a country like Thailand where gastro is common) you might find that your little ones don’t like the food. A good way to overcome this issue is to pack some snacks to take with you that your children like. If you don’t want to take snacks with you then visit a supermarket whilst there (or a 7-11 if visiting Thailand) and stock up on snacks to keep little tummies full. 

Be Prepared with Medications

When travelling overseas, communication with language barriers can be an issue. It’s highly recommended to be prepared with medications from home such as panadol, nurofen, thermometer as well as things like sunscreen and mosquito repellant. The other thing I don’t travel without is hydrolyte. In countries like Thailand where gastro can easily be caught, hydrolyte ensures that you can keep your little one hydrated.

Pack Plenty of Baby Wipes

No matter how old your child is I always recommend travelling with a heap of baby wipes. When out and about, public toilets are unavoidable……you gotta go when you gotto go! Carrying baby wipes ensures that hygiene is maintainable. Further to this, if you are travelling to a country where water is not recommended to drink….bathing children can become an issue for littlies who like to drink the bath water. If this is an issue for you, baby wipes are a great alternative for keeping little bodies clean.

Take a Stroller

If you are travelling with toddlers who have already mastered the skill of walking, I still recommend taking a stroller. Little legs tire easily when out and about exploring new areas. Taking a stroller ensures that you can continue your adventures whilst your little one rests.

Keep in Routine

Whilst you want to enjoy your time away and enjoy some dinners and nights out…..toddlers struggle when they get out of routine and sleep patterns can be thrown into disarray. As much as possible, try to keep your children in their normal routine. Eat early so they can still be in bed at the normal time. The Sleepy Starz Sleep Apps are fantastic travel companions. The apps are great for teaching your little one when it’s bedtime and sleep time without taking up any space. The apps are available in both the iTunes and Google Play Stores and more information can be found at

Whilst travelling with toddlers can be challenging at times, it’s also a lot of fun so make sure you enjoy this special time together!

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