What are some strategies to help a 22mo sleep through the night in his own bed? Do you handle waking in the middle of the night versus waking a bit too early in the morning differently?
DS goes down to sleep at night perfectly fine, and most of the advice about getting toddlers to sleep seems to be about getting them to start the night in their bed.
Over the past few weeks he's been waking at 4/5am (bedtime 6.30/7pm) and being brought into our bed has become a bit of a habit. He's still in a cot. I've been a bit relaxed about the 5am wake ups, because that's 10+ hours sleep, but he kicked off at midnight last night. DH is pretty sure this is the source of our problems.
So I went in and told him it was still night time and time to sleep, and when I left he kicked off 10 times harder than before. He calms when I go in but is almost immediately hysterical when I leave the room. I got him up after a few tries of this and we read a couple of stories and had some milk, his usual bedtime routine. He went back to his bed perfectly calmly, but kicked off 15 minutes later and we gave in and he slept till 5.30am in our bed.
How can we handle this kindly but firmly? He's a very strong-willed child; is it inevitable that we'll have a couple of very-upset crying for a night or so until he learns that he must sleep all night in his bed? Would converting his cot into a toddler bed help or make it worse? Co-sleeping isn't an option, neither DH or me sleep properly with such a restless sleeper in with us.
TIA for any tips you can give!