Toddlers are my favorite! I know they are the hardest to sleep train but it is a really fun age and there is so much you can do, you can be as creative as you want and come up with different ways to set limits and help them sleep better.
One of the tools I suggest during sleep training with toddlers is using a "sleep manners chart". It´s like a sticker chart or responsibility chart but completely oriented to sleep manners or rules. At this age, toddlers love to feel like they are doing things right and accomplishing new milestones or just receive praise, hugs, and kisses from mommy or daddy. (And why not, sometimes even a little treat).
A sleep manners chart can be very simple:
After printing it, sit with your toddler and explain why you are doing this and why is important for him to sleep by himself.
Mention that you are there to help and that there is something you are doing together
Explain how the sleep manners chart works, where manners will be written, how he is getting a sticker every time he achieves one, and that you will be checking it every day.
A small treat or prize is optional; you can give him stickers and include a final treat (what I do with my daughter is give her a little something she chooses when she has a certain amount of stickers).
Choose 3 or 4 manners to work with and make sure at least one is “easy”, this way you keep him motivated.
Remember to use positive phrases. Avoid using the word “no”. (You can read examples on my blog post).
Repeat EVERY night and EVERY morning.
Remember to stick to the manners yourself (for example, if you ask him to stay in his bed all night, do not let him stay in your bed, take him back every time).
Give a lot of positive reinforcement, lots of hugs and kisses when he achieves something.
I have one you can download and print, use it as it is or change the manners to what your little one needs.
EXCEL Sleep Manners Chart (English)
EXCEL Sleep Manners Chart (Español)
Remember to always have in mind your little one's sleep needs, this way you can have a calmer bedtime routine.