Toddler Sleep Issues & Tips to Help Parents Soothe Toddlers To Sleep
Do they cry out for you in the middle of the night? Do they fear the monster under their bed?
Growing children need at least 12-14 hours of sleep a day, with daytime naps – one, in mid-morning, the other, mid-afternoon. Mid-morning naps are usually shorter than the mid-afternoon, usually about 45 minutes to an hour while mid-afternoon naps take about 1 to 2 hours.
For some toddlers, nap times are their best chances for rest.
For others, it can be terrible and daunting.
Children at this stage of growth and development have just developed awareness of their surroundings. They tend to explore and have probably discovered that play is much more fulfilling than napping. Eventually, napping times shorten as children grow older.
Here are some issues parents usually face when it comes to their kids’ sleeping habits and easy ways to overcome them:
Why Doesn’t My Child Want to Go to Bed?
Separation anxiety has already developed during the earlier stages of toddler growth and it continues until the child reaches school age.
Let’s face it, toddlers don’t want to be left alone. Most especially at night.
Common problems like nightmares and fear of the dark are usually the main reasons why toddlers refuse to go to bed.
Sleeping problems can be eliminated by allowing your child to have a consistent night time routine.
A bedtime story or a nursery rhyme will help calm and soothe your child’s fears. Let your child pick the book or choose the song. Whether the book was all about the cow jumping over the moon or the bunny who loves to play hide and seek, it doesn’t matter. This will help him gain independence at a young age.
You may also allow your child to have at least one or two security object such as a pillow, a blanket or a stuffed animal. Let Winnie the Pooh tuck your child to bed, he will always say “I love you” to him. You may also want to leave the nightlight on after you leave your child’s room. Just be sure that it is not too bright to wake your child.
Why Does My Child Wake Up so Early in the Morning?
As mentioned earlier, toddlers are still on the stage where separation anxiety is still evident. It is tantamount that one of the reasons your child wakes up early in the morning is because he doesn’t want to be alone. This can be eliminated by telling your child that it is not yet time to get up. And if he refuses to grow up, you can add that he can go back to sleep and find Neverland with Peter Pan.
Why is it Taking my Child too Long to Fall Asleep?
You may have had spent almost an hour or two tucking your child to bed, then you notice that it is already way past her bedtime. You may opt to look further into how your child’s day went. Has she taken two naps today? How long were those naps? Did those naps take her to some place called Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?
Although napping may be necessary for child’s growth, it should be on a routine basis and properly timed. Midmorning naps should be taken between 9-10 am to at least 45 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes. Mid-afternoon naps are longer to at least one hour to two hours and should be taken at around 2 pm. If your child doesn’t fall asleep in the morning, you want to make use of the time with activities such cleaning the house like Cinderella did or getting water from the well like Snow White. Just make sure she doesn’t break her crown just as Jack did.
Additional Reminders for Parents
Consistency is the key to establishing a successful sleeping routine. So, be firm and consistent with your routines, especially with the napping times and with the activities you do before bedtime.
Make your child’s bedroom safe from monsters under his bed, calm and relaxing as in The Secret Garden. You canplaster the moon, stars and planets and other cosmic things on the ceiling not only enhance your child’s imagination and creativity, but also promote relaxation and sleeping. Just don’t get them straight from the night sky. Get them from a gift store and make sure they are glow-in-the-dark plastic.
Adding a fancy area light also gives a cool and relaxing ambience for your child’s room. Also add soothing instrumental background music to lull your child to dreamland like Narnia. A well-rested child believes that dreams do come true. After all, dreams are wishes hearts make as Cinderella sang.
You must establish with your child the thought the bed is only for nap and sleep times. So putting away your child’s iPad to let Om Nom from the Cut the Rope rest is another effective way to put your child to bed.