Toddler Sleeping Issues!
My little guy has never been a great sleeper, I fact he has always woken minimal 4 times per night.
I’ve read all minds of books to try and get assistance with this. I’ve done control crying and white noise. You name it, I’ve tried it! Still with no avail.
I’ve been told not by one but by many that once asleep, most toddlers sleep through most nights without waking the house hold. But toddlers love to test their independence, so getting them to bed in the first place can be a challenge within itself!
Toddlers also get overtired easily. When they do, they find it harder to get to sleep. They become over stimulated and more aroused. Once you can spot these little signs of tiredness, you should start to settle your bub before grumpiness sets in. A consistent bedtime routine will be a big help.
Understanding sleep and sleep patterns is an important starting point for helping your child develop healthy habits and a positive attitude towards sleep.
Toddler sleep schedule according to our peaditrician should be :
7 am: wake up
1 pm: morning sleep of approx 2 hours
3 pm: wake up
7 pm: bedtime.
If your toddler’s day sleep is too long or too late in the day, you might struggle in getting them ready for bed until late at night.
Some toddlers like to wake with the birds at 5.30 am or 6 am. Like my little guy. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. Putting him toddler to bed later at night in the hope of later starts in the morning doesn’t tend to work. He still wakes with the first chirp of a birdie!
In some books I’ve read they say a consistent bedtime routine helps prepare a child for sleep. Most toddlers are ready for bed between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm. This is a good time, because they sleep deepest between 8 pm and midnight.
A routine might look something like this:
6.30 pm: brush teeth and change nappy
6.45 pm: quiet time (read a book or tell a story)
7 pm: into bed and kiss goodnight.
If your child takes a dummy to bed, you might consider saying goodbye to it at around three years old. My little guy still has one but he is only 16 months old. I constantly get judged by others for allowing him to have it but it settles him and comforts him when upset so I’m happy to allow it for the time being.
Every night if I don’t wait in my little mans room until he is completely asleep he will cry and call out to me. Not daddy or anyone else, just me. This can be testing and I have tried to let him cry it out but he works himself up so much that he vomits. This then means I have to change the sheets and do extra washing. I’ve been suggested by trecillian to try these tips:
1. Avoid boisterous play before bedtime. This can make it harder for your child to settle. Imagine if you were to listen to very loud techno music then try sleeping straight away? Not going to happen as your too pumped up and exited. The same goes for a toddler.
2. Establish a consistent, calming bedtime routine. Before leaving the room, check that your child has everything they need. Remind your child to stay quietly in bed.
3. Try not to respond to your child’s calls after you’ve turned the light out, no matter how loud he protests. If you respond, he’ll try the same thing again next bedtime.
4. If your child gets up and try’s to get out of bed, return them to bed firmly or pay them back down and quietly – over and over until there’s no more getting up. Or you can return them to their bed once – if they get up again, close the bedroom door and ignore all further protests.
5. If your toddler shares a bedroom with a brother or sister, you might need to delay your other child’s bedtime by half an hour until your toddler is settled and asleep. With luck, your toddler will very quickly get the message that bedtime is for sleeping, and the disruption to all will be minimal.
6. In calling out, your child might actually need something. If your child has done a poo, change the nappy with the lights dim and no talking. If your child is scared of a monster under the bed, a quick check by you (with the light off) can confirm the room is monster-free. Your toddler might settle after that. If your child is scared of the dark, think about using a night-light. Whatever the issue is, keeping on eye on light and noise in your child’s room is a good idea.
Other issues that you may experience that I have are night terrors and or bad dreams. A night terror is when your child suddenly becomes very agitated while in a state of deep sleep. A night terror can last from a few minutes up to 40 minutes. My little one often does this and they say not to wake them as they don’t understand or realize what is happening and quite often don’t even remember. Waking them can result in them going back to sleep and experiencing the sane dream / terror.
Many children grind their teeth at some stage. Children won’t usually be woken up by the sound of their own teeth grinding – but other people in the room might be!
Moving to a ‘big bed’
Most children move from a cot to a bed somewhere between two and three-and-a-half years old. But there’s no hurry, particularly as some young toddlers become trickier to manage in a bed. Of course, you might need to move your child if your child has started climbing out of the cot or needs to use the potty at night, or if you need the cot for a new baby.
Pills, potions and tonics aren’t usually the answer to solving children’s sleeping problems – there are better ways to deal with your child’s sleep difficulties. I’ve tried rescue remedie, baby calm, lavender, white noise. Everything. We are moving house in 3 weeks so I plan on getting trecillian in to help at the new house.
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