Toddler sleep concerns?
If your toddler appears to not be getting enough sleep, these tips may help
As your baby gets older you will be forgiven for thinking that they are ready for a full peaceful night’s sleep. Sometimes the case but as we know all babies and toddlers are different and some have other ideas about how much they sleep.
Recognise any of these issues with your toddler?
In and out
Once your toddler has a proper bed, this little trick can be a favourite bedtime game. After all, for the first time in their little lives they are able to get out of their bed themselves without needing to cry to get someone’s attention. So they do. Every time you put them to bed, they get up and come and find you. If this is an issue in your house, just take them straight back to bed without entering into conversation and eventually they’ll realise, it’s not such a fun game.
Naptime on the way out
Whereas at one time your toddler may have naturally taken a nap at similar times for similar amounts of time, you may start to notice this change. Many toddlers start taking shorter or longer naps and different times of the day and can then affect their ability to sleep at bedtime. Try and create a calm nap environment if your toddler appears to be ready to nap and if it’s getting late in the day, create a calm play time maybe with some favourite books to help them relax but not necessarily sleep.
“I need a drink”, “I need the toilet” common phrases linked to stalling the inevitable of bedtime. Try and pre-empt what they will ask for and everything to hand and carry on with getting them to bed.
Separation anxiety can really be an issue at bedtime and get your child really upset. Consistent reassurance you are nearby and will check on them shortly can help them relax and realise they can fall asleep without you there.
If you have a child with a real vivid imagination, nightmares and night terrors can become a real problem. You may have to go through a stage of staying in the room until they drop off to help them overcome night terrors, but gradually withdraw this as things improve and continually reassure them all is OK. A nightlight or soft bedtime music can help distract and calm them.
A toddler may wake really early as they simply need less sleep, while others it may be because their rooms are too bright. With others it may be just the excitement of a new day! There are some toddler designed clocks around that can help encourage your little one to stay in bed that bit longer.