Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.

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  1. Caitlin says

    Our two and a half year old also has toys in his cot and it’s been brilliant for his wind down! He is often quite amped up if tired after daycare, so needs a long wind down. Sometimes he’s in there singing to his ‘friends’ who are all soft toys, but he’s also become hilariously attached to taking cars and trucks in there.

    We have strict boundaries around how many extra toys he can get to take in each night otherwise he’d be stalling bed all night fetching more things 😉 But once he’s in there he’ll play for a while then fall asleep.

    This all also helps us keep to his seven pm bed time even if he’s not 100% sleepy just yet, as well as being good for nap/quiet time in case he’s too hyped to sleep straight away but definitely needs the time out. Not to mention the mornings. And yes, definitely books have gone in as well.

    Given our second son’s temperament we’re suspecting some crib mobiles for him to gaze at would be highly useful as self settling aids too. Will see what he thinks of them when he goes into his own room and cot in a couple of week’s time. And if that fails, we’ll be signing up for a sleep consult package I can assure you of that! lol. Does not have the same natural skills our first born had that’s for sure.

    Thanks again for wonderful site, and yes, we’re all for cot toys as settling aids! Lovely to make the cot a fun but safe and restful place that they like to hang out 🙂 It’s not very Sleep Whisperer we know, but what the heck! 🙂

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Caitlin – Awesome insights! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with us – much appreciated! We agree totally; crib toys can go a long way towards making the crib or sleeping area a happy place, and towards teaching little ones to self-soothe before falling asleep 🙂

  2. Emily DeJeu says

    @ AlixF — thanks for sharing the particulars of what worked for you! I agree – toys in the crib were always a great thing for my kids. That was always a nice way to have some downtime (for all of us!) Plus, I think it’s great to teach kids how to entertain themselves from an early age. I love my kids, but I also love my space, so I’m thankful now that my kids, by and large, know how to occupy their time without my help. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting, Alix!

  3. AlixF says

    Sarah W, great idea about books in bed -I will try that. Thanks!

  4. AlixF says

    At a few weeks old we put a mobile up on our daughter’s cradle which she still loves. Once she was in her bigger cot (crib) and could roll about easily we gave her a few soft, safe toys. She loves playing with them while she goes to sleep and when she wakes. As she’s grown we’ve heard her chatting to them and practicing all the new words she’s learnt that day/week (she’s now two). For this great language practice alone I think its a great idea to have toys in her bed with her. It gives us both space to spend some time alone too. If she’s really tired she just goes straight to sleep. I’ve never thought the toys were distracting her from sleep. Rather, they keep her company while she winds down. We always take her fave teddy with us when we’re away. I don’t think she’d be able to sleep without it now! Pros & cons… Have to have a secret spare exactly the same of course. Just in case it ever gets lost.

  5. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Sarah Williams — awesome! I always did this, too — when my kids were in cribs, I’d put a soft, fabric books in there, and the occasional board book. Now that they’re bigger, I always put a little stack of books at the foot of their beds during rest time and at bedtime. I think it’s a great way to build the ‘reading-before-bed’ habit. 🙂

    Glad you found a system that works for you and for your little guy! And thanks for commenting, Sarah!

    @ Rosie — sounds like my daughter! She always has lots of ‘friends’ lined up in bed, too. And she has favorites as well, and like you, I’m pretty convinced that they actually help her feel calm and fall asleep. In fact, a few times, I’ve heard her talking to her teddy before she falls asleep (which is crazy adorable!!)

    Thanks for commenting, Rosie! 🙂

    @ Jane B — aquariums can be great; in fact, sometimes our consultants recommend them to families, in situations where they think it will help. I think it totally depends on the your son’s personality, though — some kids may find aquariums overstimulating, while others would use it until they felt sleepy and then leave it alone. Couldn’t hurt to at least test it out, and see what happens. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting, Jane!

  6. Jane B says

    We’ve thought about getting a crib aquarium for our 16 month old son who likes to wake up early (5-6am). However we weren’t sure if it would be too noisy and wake everyone-although he pretty much wakes us up anyway. He tends to throw out any toys in the crib at nap so it would need to be something attached.

  7. Rosie says

    My 18 month old has a few stuffed toys in her bed. They are all soft and comfy so if they get in awkward places they won’t hurt her, but she does often play with them a little before going to sleep, maybe for 10 mins or so. If she wakes in a good mood she’ll also play with them in the morning so we’ve found they certainly don’t disturb her sleep. We take the most familiar ones away with us too so in fact I’m sure they help her sleep.

  8. Sarah Williams says

    Our son is almost 3, and his bed time routine has actually really improved since we provided him with a little light, and let him have books in bed.

    He’s frequently reading when we leave the room, but that means he goes to sleep on his own.