My toddler Won't Go to Sleep Help!: Here's Why And What to Do

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Does bedtime look like a wrestling match in your house? You're not alone. Countless parents struggle with young children in this situation. That's why we made you a blog for this challenge.

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Hey, no worries! We get that toddlers can be tricky at bedtime with their sleep regressions and resistance to naps. Here's a tip to make bedtime smoother: let your little one make some choices, like picking their pajamas or the bedtime story.

A comforting object and a nightlight can also help ease them into dreamland. These simple changes can make bedtime a peaceful time for both of you.

Reasons why your toddler won't sleep

From common discomfort to developmental milestones, these are the reasons why your little one won't sleep. Let's delve into it!


Toddlers may become excited quickly due to television, rough play, or consumption of refined sugar.


Bright lights, loud noises, teething, hot or cold temperatures, stuffy noses, or itchy pajamas can make it difficult for toddlers to sleep.

Curiosity and strong will

Toddlers are naturally curious and may not want to go to bed because they fear missing out on what everyone else is doing.

Lack of a bedtime routine

Kids thrive with a consistent bedtime routine that eases them into sleep mode, so it must not be off. Establish a relaxing sequence of activities like reading, bathing, or gentle stretches to signal that it’s time for bed.

Developmental milestones

As kids hit new developmental milestones, like starting to talk or walk, they might get so excited about their new skills that they want to practice them instead of sleeping.

This can make bedtime a bit of a challenge. It’s all part of growing up, but tweaking the bedtime routine to help them wind down can really make a difference.

"Parents' feeling of guilt when a child does not sleep doesn't help; we tend to take it personally and make mistakes when considering it a punishment. In fact, parenting is a learning process for both parents and children."
💡Dra. Lorena Koppel

What to do if your toddler resist to sleep

Bedtime with toddlers often means a mix of lullabies, cuddles, and stubborn resistance. It's a familiar scene that can leave many parents feeling exhausted and frustrated. But fear not, weary warrior.

Big changes in your toddler’s life, like starting daycare or a new sibling arriving, can directly impact their sleep and lead to bedtime battles. Here are seven helpful steps to turn those bedtime struggles into peaceful nights:

1. Establish a bedtime routine

Relaxing activities are essential. Check out this ideal routine: 

  • 🛀 Bath time! (8:00 - 8:15 pm): A good bath is always a perfect way to start the trip to bed.
  • 👚Let's get into our pajamas! (8:15 - 8:20 pm): Choose an appropriate and comfortable outfit for your little one; it's just important that they are comfortable when it's time to rest.
  • 🍎 Let's eat something  (8:20 - 8:40 pm): He must have some nutrients in his body, such as fruit or some snack that he likes and is not refined sugar, and he will be perfect.  
  • 🦷 Brush your teeth (8:40 - 8:50 pm): Good oral hygiene is essential, particularly in children; ensure it is a constant habit during development. 
  • 📚 Listen to a story in Storybook. app (8:50 - 9:00 pm): Open your Storybook app, and look for a novel that he likes or one that you feel can help him relax; Little Red Riding Hood or Sleeping Beauty can help you with that. It is also advisable to accompany it with a massage. 
  • 💤 Sleep ... Zzz... (9:00 pm ➔)  By now, at this point, your little one should be completely asleep. And you know what? It's time to go to sleep, too.

2. Incorporate calming activities for toddlers

Put relaxing activities and sensory experiences into action, and massages can be your perfect solution. 

3. Prioritize needs over wants

Establish clear boundaries: While offering choices is essential, so is setting clear boundaries. Avoid indulging them with unreasonable demands or negotiating bedtime. 

If you need more detailed information about toddler sleep habits, please refer to our article. Toddlers sleep habits

4. Don't skip naptime.

Regular naps are essential for toddlers, especially on busy days. It also keeps him from sleeping too much. Napping should be balanced.

5. Create the perfect sleep environment

  • 🌘 Have complete darkness: lights outside could interfere with your little one's sleep.
  • 🌡 Set the temperature: Extremes are usually negative. The room should be neither too hot nor too cold. 
  • 🎵 Sound and comfort: Quietness and comfort at bedtime are crucial for your child's development. StoryBook can help with this.

Visit our blog and discover effective strategies to put a toddler to sleep fast - don't miss our tips for more restful nights! ➔➜ how to put a toddler to sleep in 40 seconds

6. Limit screen time

The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with sleep. Avoid letting your toddler watch TV or play on tablets for at least an hour before bedtime.

7. Dim the lights

Bright lights can suppress melatonin production, the sleep hormone. Dim the lights in the hour leading up to bedtime.

When to worry if your toddler won't sleep

In the book Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-worry Approach for Each Age and Stage by Ann Douglas, we are told that Most 2- to 3-year-olds need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep per night.

If your child sleeps less than those hours, has difficulty concentrating, and is irritable and tired, it is time to take action.

 If you need more information, we recommend you to check our blog: toddler sleep schedule 

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Written By

Francisco Cornejo
CEO Storybook

Francisco Cornejo, a dynamic entrepreneur with a Masters in Communication from RMIT University in Australia, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Storybook. As a serial entrepreneur, he notably served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Honda Motors in Latin America, shaping the brand's regional presence. ‍ Passionate about family well-being and communication, Francisco leads Storybook in its mission to improve children's health globally, aiming to create positive impacts in both corporate and societal spheres.


  • Karp, H. (2002). The happiest baby on the block: The new way to calm crying and help your newborn sleep longer (2nd ed.). New York, NY: HarperCollins.
  • Douglas, A. (2010). Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler and Preschooler: The Ultimate No-worry Approach for Each Age and Stage. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Sears, W. Website Title:

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