Being the preferred parent has pros and cons.
It must mean that you are good company.
Yes, and although it is a normal stage that your child prefers one parent for a short time, it also causes frustration, upset, and hurt feelings.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to help. Here are 8 tips!
8 Tips If Your Toddler Only Calls For Mommy At Night
1. Just make the change
As difficult as it seems, you can make your little one learn to fall asleep with another caregiver by simply going for it.
Let dad or grandma do the whole bedtime routine with them in the same order as you do. This can be tough, especially when you’re still in the picture and your little one’s eyes are on you. So, you might want to leave the room or the house while your baby is getting into bed.
This takes some persistence, but you can repeat it several times until your baby is finally ready to sleep with other people.
2. Let your baby cry
Watching your sweet baby cry and look for you at night can make your heart melt quickly. And leaving them alone and teary-eyed can get extremely hard.
But if you’re serious about making this change and want to make your life easier- you have to say no.
This means letting your baby cry if that’s what it comes to. Often, toddlers only cry for a while and then drift into sleep. Babies have the ability to self-soothe and can learn it over time.
After a few nights, they’ll stop crying and will accept that mommy can’t always be around at bedtime.
3. Make the change gradually
Now, you don’t have to make the change too abrupt for your little one. Make the transition gradually.
You don’t have to leave their bedtime routine altogether. Instead, let the other caregiver do some of the steps, and then you can come and tuck the baby in. Or vice-versa.
Similarly, you can still be with them on several nights. In this way, you won’t be vanishing overnight but will slowly fade your presence.
Gradually, your toddler will also get the hang of it and be more accepting of other caregivers at bedtime.
4. Empathize with your toddler
When your toddler tearfully asks you not to leave, show them you understand how they feel. Lovingly, acknowledge their emotions and tell them you can’t change this situation.
Tell them why you won’t be able to be there at bedtime and that you’re sad about it too.
Having an actual conversation about these emotions is essential. First, allow your toddler to communicate and listen to them.
This will make your child feel heard and help them better process and manage their own emotions.
5. Make bedtime as comfortable as possible
Many toddlers want mommy at bedtime because of the security, warmth, and love of sleeping next to her. You can make the transition easier by making bedtime as relaxing for your toddler as possible.
Try making their bed cozier and offer them a fluffy blanket. If the dark is scary for them, get a night light to make the room brighter. Try finding out what your toddler needs for a better night’s sleep and make sure to provide it to them.
You can also add different things in the room for your toddler to look at while in bed. For instance, glow-in-the-dark stickers on the ceiling can be helpful. You can also use colored bulbs to set the mood and tone of the room.
As long as it distracts, soothes, and helps your child go to sleep- it’s worth trying.
6. Enjoy their favorite activities
Another idea is to let your baby enjoy all their favorite activities during bedtime, but with someone else, let’s say, dad. This can be an effective solution, as your child will get very involved in the game or activity and might even forget that you’re not there.
So, whether it’s their favorite toy, game, or activity, let them have fun right before bedtime. This will make them happier, more relaxed, and make it easier to fall asleep even if mama’s not around.
Plus, it will allow them to bond more with dad, and if he turns out to be a fun playing partner, you will solve the problem in no time.
7. Leave your clothing with them
Many toddlers love being held by mom because they enjoy and feel comforted by her scent. This is one of the many reasons they prefer having mama at bedtime.
You can take a piece of your clothing, like a shirt or scarf, and keep it in your baby’s bed. Or, you can let the caregiver drape it over their body while putting your toddler to sleep. Then, having your scent around might soothe your baby and allow them to fall asleep quickly with someone else.
8. Ask others to put baby to bed at other times
If your baby has all their daytime naps with you, chances are, they’ll want you at bedtime too. This is because babies start to associate ‘sleep’ with mom.
You can start making a change by asking dad, nanny, or anyone else to be with the baby when they sleep during the day. You can also ask them to feed or soothe the baby at other times of the day.
Do this consistently, so your baby slowly gets used to the idea that they can feel relaxed without mama too.
If your toddler only wants mommy at night, then you can follow these tips to (hopefully make life a little easier for you all!
When a toddler only wants one parent, it can cause frustration for everyone, especially when it happens every night.