Your idea of a CD to relax your baby is a great idea. It will quickly become a powerful signal that it’s time to sleep. You can leave it on all night, so if she wakes in the night, it will help her resettle. Start introducing the CD while carrying on with how you are currently settling her for a few nights. Talk about listening to the special bedtime music. There are lots of lovely lullaby CDs available, my favourite for toddlers is Music for Dreaming.
I also recommend getting her attached to a comfort blankie or special toy. As with the music, start introducing it as you carry on settling her in the usual way. Tuck it in with her, talk about it being her special friend to keep her company and really make it part of the bedtime routine. Taggies are really cute or some sort of soft toy or doll would also be fine.
Make sure she is settled and going to sleep by 7pm. So if it normally takes 20 mins to fall asleep, start your bedtime routine in plenty of time, so she is in bed by 6.40pm. It can be a good idea to have a story that covers the going to sleep issue too, such as Dr Suess’s ‘The Sleep Book’ or ‘Kiss Good Night Sam’ or ‘Go to Bed Doodlehead’.
is she still having a midday sleep? Often night sleeping issues in toddlers develop when your toddler is getting over-tired. The No Cry Sleep Solution has good information on day sleeps for toddlers too.
Does she sleep in a sleeping bag? Any problems with blankets falling off, waking from cold etc? Another really powerful sleep association is having your child sleep in a sleeping bag. The process of zipping them in becomes part of the bedtime routine and also ensures they stay snug all night. The best one for a 2 ½ year old is the Toddler Woolbabe Bag – this lasts up to age 4 and can be used year-round.