You asked

What are the best methods of getting my 2-year-old to sleep?

Establish a set bedtime routine and do not allow your child to dictate when it is time to sleep. Avoid using soothers, rocking, or a bottle to get your child to sleep, because your child will become dependant on an external factor to induce sleep. Your child needs to learn to sleep without aid.

Involve your child in selecting what to wear to bed and which blankets and pillows to use for the night. Once your child is lying down, but won't sleep, you can stay in the room for a while, then leave for five minutes before returning. Make the intervals longer between visits. This assures your child that you are still nearby, but also gradually gets them used to being alone at bedtime.

If your child refuses to stay in bed, threaten to close the door. If the threat does not work, you can close the door and hold it closed for a minute. Open the door and put your child back to bed if needed, then hold the door closed for a minute or two longer – repeat this four times until you reach five minutes for the first night. Once your child is in bed and stays there, open the door and use praise, but do not go inside. If the restless behaviour persists for many nights in a row, then the period that the door stays closed can be increased, until the fourth closing interval reaches 30 minutes.

If your child understands language well and has the right temperament, you can avoid going into the bedroom if you are called at night. Rather reply to your child without going in and say how impressed you are with their ability to behave and sleep alone. Smaller babies need comforting and touch to go to sleep, while older toddlers and preschoolers respond better to strict schedules and routines.

More questions

Tips for getting your toddler to take a nap
Unlike night terrors, nightmares truly are bad dreams, that occur during the dream or REM sleep phase of sleep – usually later on in the evening.
Night terrors are terrifying for parents, but for the children who have them, they’re not even something that they remember in the morning.
By the time your child is two years old and older, his or her napping requirements have probably changed quite a lot!
In spite of what you have heard, waking a sleepwalker is not dangerous, although it’s not the best solution.
Night time potty training is a big part of the potty training process, and it can be one of the trickiest.
Once your child is older than six months, you shouldn't need to do night time feeding.
If your child is old enough to sleep all through the night, but wakes up at times, you need to try to help him self-induce sleep.
There a few different approaches you can use to get your 2-year-old to sleep, all of them rely on routine.
Establishing a set routine and sticking to it, is the best way to get your child used to going to sleep at the right time.

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