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toddler care

Why does my toddler do odd things before sleep?

It’s not uncommon for little ones to do some strange things when falling asleep, any of the below sound familiar?

Does your toddler have odd behaviour at sleep time?

Don’t worry, it’s common for toddlers to bang their head or twist their hair at sleep time

weird behaviour at bedtime 474

We all have our funny little ways of soothing ourselves to sleep and this is no different for toddlers. So don’t be surprised if you notice your little one doing any of the below as they settle to fall asleep. They are simply ways they have learned to self-soothe themselves to sleep.

1. Shaking or banging their head

Quite an alarming one for parents but a common one. Usually babies bang their head against their cot or vigorously shake their head from side to side. Although it can be worrying, many toddlers find this helps them self-soothe to sleep.

2. Twisting or pulling their hair

Another very common way little ones settle themselves to sleep. Just be aware they can knot their hair if not careful!

3. Stroking body parts

Whether it’s their bellies, their ears, eyes or even private parts, this is a common way for little ones to settle themselves and you may even find they like to stroke your face or hand as they get ready to sleep.

4. Making noise

You may notice your toddler chats to themselves or repeat a noise at bedtime, it’s their way of self-soothing themselves to sleep and not as you may fear them trying to stay awake! 

Why do toddlers engage in strange self-soothing things?

For most, it is just simply a way they have found simply helps them drift off to sleep. If they are not tired enough to fall asleep, it can help them wind down and get more sleepy. It can also relate to a change they are aware of in their life, whether it’s potty training has started, a new baby has arrived or moving home, these changes can affect your little one’s sleep and they have found a way to help settle themselves.

Why does my toddler do odd things before sleep?