Toddlers still require a lot more sleep than adults. In total, toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep over 24 hours. However, toddlers don’t make that easy. This blog will discuss common toddler sleep problems and recommend solutions on how you could fix them.
It is important to remember that all children are different, so these suggestions may not work for everyone. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your child. Let’s get started!
What are the common toddler sleep problems?
How should you address and/or fix them?
1. Toddler Sleep Problem: Having Nightmares
Like adults, toddlers can be woken up by a nightmare. By age two, toddlers start having really bad dreams. These night terrors can appear very real to children, so it is necessary to assure them it is not.
How to Fix it
A level of comfort is needed when a bad dream wakes them up. A toddler usually has a favourite toy or blanket that soothes them. Ensure they have it before they go to sleep, as it will hopefully help avoid nightmares. If they do happen, it is okay to let them stay with you for a while, but they must go back to their beds when they’ve calmed down.
2. Problem: Waking up at Night
This is one of those times that toddlers don’t make sleep time easy. Sometimes, they wake up because they are getting too much sleep during a nap. However, if that is not the case, then the reasons could range from being disturbed by noise or missing you.
How to Fix it
If they are waking up a lot, it could be due to the bed being used for things that aren’t sleeping like screen time, eating or playing. Those types of distractions are best in other spaces. When a child does get out of bed, they should have very little excitement or stimulation. This will show them that waking up at nighttime is incredibly boring and not worth it.
3. Problem: Won’t Fall Asleep
Sometimes your toddler has too much energy at bedtime. Like when they wake up a lot at night, it is necessary to make sure it’s not because of naps that are too long or too late in the day. Once that is ruled out, you can begin instituting different practices to wind your toddler down at night.
How to Fix it
Make sure you have an established bedtime routine. A set number of bedtime stories, a specific order that they get ready for bed in, or a particular night light are great examples of creating a calming environment. Limit food and drinks before bed, especially if they contain lots of sugar or caffeine. It also helps stick to one bedtime, so they know when to relax and go to sleep.
Toddlers need sleep to develop psychologically and physically. Parents realize this and will often try anything to get kids to sleep. The important thing is to be patient with the situation and consult outside help if the problem persists.
Written by: Gabrielle Goldson
Check our other blog: Toddler Milestones – Feeding your Toddler