Toddlers: 1-2 Years
Toddlers’ evolving personalities make them adorable, but those who have not learned how to sleep by this point usually make bedtime arduous. And, multiple night wakings test even the most patient parents. I have been very successful in helping parents and toddlers reclaim peaceful nights.
"When our daughter was 18 months old, she took an hour on average to fall asleep for naps and bedtime, and then woke every 2-4 hours. She was sleeping on our guest mattress on the floor because she couldn’t fall asleep without me (her mother) right beside her, and often wouldn’t sleep unless I stayed the rest of the night. She was completely dependent upon me to sleep, so much so that she’d scream until I arrived if my husband tried to help alone. I was beyond exhausted and really had no idea what to do. I was afraid of sleep training, fearing it would ruin her trust and secure attachment with me. Friends and family had told me “She’ll eventually sleep through the night on her own”, so I kept waiting.
I finally called Joanna out of desperation after a particularly horrible night of no sleep. It had to change or I felt like moving out! I immediately felt comfortable with Joanna, as she reassured me she could help and that she understood where we were coming from. She thoroughly explained her approach and the sleep science behind why it works. As a team of 3, she helped us create a sleep plan that was exactly what my daughter needed. Because of my daughter’s age and numerous sleep crutches, we all thought it would take many weeks to train her. We were thrilled when she was sleep trained after only 11 days, and was nap trained after 12. She now sleeps a full 12 hours at night in her crib, and requires no participation from us to fall asleep. It is the true definition of bliss.
I want to shout it from the rooftops that sleep training is beneficial and necessary! I wish I had known that falling asleep on your own is a learned skill, not one you just wait for your child to figure out. I strongly urge any parent struggling with exhaustion to please call Joanna and trust her. Her approach is truly gentle, and has saved our sanity and happiness as parents. We could not have done this without her, and are so happy with what we’ve achieved with her guidance."
- Kathleen P., Georgia, child was 2 years old at time of sleep coaching
"I called Joanna when I was at the end of my rope with my youngest child, then 21 months. I had already read all the books and had a million reasons for why nothing had worked so far. He required someone to rock him to sleep and, eventually, it got to the point that he would not let us put him down at all. I thought that we were beyond help. She not only helped us figure out why he wasn’t sleeping, but also tailored a custom plan and schedule to teach him to self-soothe. She gave us vital skills and checked in with us consistently to make sure that we were on track. She gave my family the gift of sleep, and for that, I could not be more grateful."
– Dr. Diana R., Houston, TX, 21-month-old toddler
"I couldn’t recommend Joanna enough to any sleep-deprived mom who asks herself whether she is doing the right thing about her baby’s sleep schedule and habits. As a working professional, it became exhausting when my 18-month old toddler continued to wake up in the middle of the night and very early in the morning. We had tried a variety sleeping arrangements and “training,” none of which resolved the issues we were having. One night I thought to myself, “how did we get here?” That’s when I called Joanna, and thankfully, her gentle guidance and coaching resulted in a happy toddler and happy parents, all of whom are well-rested."
– Shirin F., Orange County, CA, 18-month-old toddler
"We just finished sleep-training our one-year-old son with Joanna and we are happy to report the training was a resounding success and we now have a baby who is both sleep trained and nap trained! As first-time parents, we were having a lot of difficulty getting our son on a regular sleep schedule and, as a result, our baby had difficulty putting himself to sleep, or staying asleep, without heavily depending on sleep crutches. This was a disaster for our own sleep schedules, as one or the other of us would frequently get up multiple times a night to help put the baby back to sleep by rocking him or shushing him. Joanna stepped in and provided fantastic counseling that helped us understand both the science behind the sleep cycles, as well as what was specific to our baby. She was attentive, focused on data, and tailored a sleep-training plan that was right for our family."
– Jeff and Rebecca T., Houston, TX, 12-month-old toddler
"We are so glad we worked with Joanna for our son's sleep training and she brought back the peaceful bedtime for the whole family.
My husband started co-sleep with our 2-year-old son when he got sick from daycare. At first it seemed to work very well: Philip would fall asleep in about 30 mins and didn't have any night wakings. But soon the situation deteriorated: we'd moved him out of his crib too early, he became very demanding, and he refused to stay in his bed. Meanwhile his night waking became a drama. In the beginning he woke up and wanted to change rooms, but soon he was demanding to turn on the lights to read books and refused to turn the lights off. If we didn't give him what he asked he would throw a big tantrum in the middle of the night. The entire family was exhausted and my husband almost fell asleep on his way to work.
We called Joanna when we felt at our wits' end. To be honest I was very skeptical when she suggested to start training by putting him back to the crib. But we followed her advice, and to my surprise my son is now back to his crib happily, and since we used sleep shuffle he didn't cry that much. Lately he can fall asleep on his own and we feel so relieved. Sleep shuffle is much more gentle than cry-it-out.
Joanna worked very hard with us and kept on checking with us while we were preparing for the training. Her consistency and working attitude really made a big difference in our life."
– Lucy D. Houston TX, 2-year-old toddler
Before Gentle Sleep Coaching, our 15-month-old daughter was co-sleeping in our bed (I use the term sleeping, extremely loosely) and napping on the couch. She wanted nothing to do with her crib and would scream any time we even walked near her room. At night, she was constantly moving, having to touch both my husband and I at the same time, and waking up every 1-3 hours to eat (out of habit) or just cry because she could never get settled. Not being one to fall back asleep easily, I found myself getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night, if I was lucky. Having a very busy 3-year-old also at home who was eager to play the next day regardless of how little sleep I had actually gotten the night before, I was starting to run on fumes. My husband could barely function at work, I was extremely irritable with not only him, but our older child as well, and I had zero energy for doing anything other than pretty much keeping the girls safe and alive. All aspects of our life (extended family, social, financial, etc.) were now starting to become affected by the fact no one (other than our 3-year-old) was getting any sleep at night. I continued to tell myself that as a second-time, well-educated mom with a post-graduate degree I should be able to figure this out... that she would eventually “grow out” of this phase, or I would be able to “fix” her sleep patterns. After all, I had a perfectly healthy baby girl a few short years before who naturally slept 12-14 hours straight from the day she turned 16 weeks old. I constantly thought to myself, “Why can’t I “fix” this? What am I doing wrong? I am failing my child, my marriage, and myself because I can’t get this under control.” One morning after getting an entire 45 minutes of sleep the previous night, I reached my breaking point. Completely in tears, I opened my laptop and searched for “baby sleep trainers.” To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if something like that even existed, but I was desperate. I felt completely useless when it came to managing any other aspect of our family life, all because I wasn’t getting any sleep. I loved our daughter more than anything in the world, but her lack of sleep was making it very difficult to like her. Aside from the struggles my husband and I faced, our biggest concern was our daughter. We knew she wasn’t getting the sleep she so desperately needed, and I was unsuccessful at teaching her how to do so. As I scrolled through pages and pages online search results, I stumbled upon Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching and decided to reach out to Joanna to see if our situation was even salvageable. I was nearly certain that our daughter’s sleep struggles were set in stone and I had let her go too long without truly learning how to sleep. From our very first introductory phone call, I immediately felt at home with Joanna. Even though she was thousands of miles away, I felt like she was a member of our family. For the first time in months, I felt a small glimmer of hope. In the back of my mind, however, I was still holding on to the idea that our daughter was “too far gone.” She was over a year old and had developed some HARD habits to break. That evening after speaking with Joanna, my husband and I decided to proceed, cautiously optimistic. During our second phone call to discuss the specific details of our daughter’s plan, I knew we had made the right decision. Joanna did a superb job of listening to our concerns, addressing every single aspect of our situation, and making a truly individualized plan to help our daughter learn to sleep. Before we began day one of sleep training, I distinctly remember asking her, “Joanna, do you really think this is possible? Am I being realistic with a goal of getting her to sleep through the night, in her own crib?” She confidently replied “Yes!” She explained every portion of the plan in a way that made sense to us, being very sensitive to both our wishes as parents and our daughter’s needs and personality. She was excellent at helping us understand the “why” behind the “what.” To say that that investing in sleep coaching with Joanna was worth it would be a drastic understatement. The life-long results she provided for our daughter are truly remarkable. With happy tears and a thankful heart, I can now say that our daughter not only sleeps a consistent 12 hours of sleep per night, in addition to two solid naps during the day (both in her crib!), but she learned this in only two short weeks. She loves her crib, her new routine, and best of all, she loves SLEEP! My husband and I are two happy, fully-functioning adults again who have a new appreciation for the gift of sleep. We can finally have a few hours to ourselves each night to spend on our marriage, talk about our day, and read in bed, all without having to worry about waking the baby or whether or not we were actually going to get sleep that night. Working with Joanna helped me realize that asking for help is not only OK, but a necessity. It may sound cliché, but my only regret is not calling her sooner. To think of all of the sleepless nights my husband and I could have back, the full nights of rest we could have given our daughter, if we had only stopped to look for help earlier. Joanna, we will be forever grateful for all of your guidance and wisdom in getting our little one to sleep. Simply put, we do not know what we would have done without you!
- Margaret J. Child was 14 months at time of sleep coaching
Our daughter was 18 months old and had never slept through the night. Joanna was able to provide scientific evidence about what was occurring with her sleeping patterns and such and developed an approach to help our daughter overcome some of her habits. She now sleeps 12 hours a night, straight, in addition to an hour and a half to two hour nap. Thanks, Joanna!
- B.O. and D.O. Child 18 months at time of sleep coaching
We can’t tell you how many times we were told that our child’s fifteenth (thousandth?) “sleep regression” was just a “phase.” Calling Joanna was best thing we ever did for our 18-month old and his overall health, development and happiness. We’re two working parents who are lucky enough to have a lot of help with our household and caring for our child. We started with a few short wake-ups a night – no big deal. Then that morphed into one longer wake-up in addition to a couple short ones. We could handle that too – just sing a few songs, give him a bottle of water and maybe some hugs and a short walk. It wasn’t until one of us was up for a two to three hours in the middle of the night trying to soothe inconsolable shout-cries that we decided we needed professional help. We’d read so many books and tried several methods, but even if it stuck for a while, everything would inevitably regress again and we weren’t sure any of it was worth it. Our sleep training attempts were so miserable that we eventually gave up, hoping (and reassured by other well-meaning parents) that our child would grow out of it. We should have called Joanna sooner. Joanna is straightforward, non-judgmental, encouraging, and she always made sure we worked within our personal comfort zone. A month later, our child sleeps 12-13 hours a night, in addition to his two-hour daytime nap, he’s excited to go to bed, and falls asleep entirely on his own. He’s happy and sweet, and we swear the extra sleep has accelerated his ability to learn new skills and speech. Looking back, we feel awful about how little we were allowing him to sleep. We had even convinced ourselves that maybe he was a kid that just didn’t need that much sleep! Joanna’s intimate knowledge of sleep science backed by evidence-based methods and a wealth of experience is invaluable. It’s no exaggeration to say that she has changed our family’s life.
- J. Tau Houston TX, Child was 2 years old at time of Gentle Sleep Coaching
Sleep changes by age and stage.
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