TODDLER SLEEP: WHAT THEY NEED AND HOW TO COPE WITH ANY PROBLEM

>> Apr 23, 2019


Toddlers need their sleep a lot, even if they at times get stubborn and seem to want to stay awake for as long as they can. It might be that they don’t want to be detached from their parents or they feel like they want to enjoy the fun activities going on for as long as they can.

For a parent, however, bedtime is more important than anything else considering the numerous benefits that come with it. That’s what provokes most parents to do whatever they can to lure their young ones to sleep, even if it means spending a significant amount of time by their side.
image:pixabay.com/photos/baby-girl-sleep-child-toddler-1151351
How much sleep does a toddler need?

If you have a toddler at home and wondering just how much hours of sleep they need every day, here’s what you should keep in mind. Once a baby becomes a toddler, they need roughly 10 – 14 hours of sleep each day, which should include a single nap (since naps are reduced from 2 to 1 after 18 months). On average, most toddlers achieve from 10 hours of sleep each night or more.

How can you help your toddler sleep better?

There are several things that you can do to ensure that your young one benefits from adequate sleep such as:

1. Giving them a comfort object

You more than likely understand why most young ones need a comfort object such as a stuffed animal or special blanket when they go to sleep – it helps them rest better through the night. Everyone has certain elements that they depend on to sleep better, whether it’s leaving the fan on, taking socks off and others. Toddlers can depend on comfort objects for better sleep, and if they wake up and find that the condition that got them to sleep is not available anymore, they will cry out to get it back. That’s why it’s not a good idea to take away stuffed animals from your toddler’s bed while they’re asleep.

2. Be consistent with bedtime routines

If you do certain things such as bathing your toddler, reading bedtime stories, and others to help them relax before bedtime, be consistent with such routines as the toddler’s body will have already adjusted to such.

3. Establish a suitable bedroom environment

The bedroom environment should be quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable if you want your young one to sleep well. Also, your toddler’s bed should be reserved only for sleeping, not for other activities like playing. You also want to ensure that there is no television in their room or any other kind of screen time such as smartphones and the likes.

4. Limit certain foods and drinks

Avoid giving a drink that contains caffeine to your young one as well as foods that have a high protein or sugar content. Such drinks and foods lead to increased awareness, which might prevent your young one from falling asleep.

5. Establish consistent sleeping and wake up times

Have you ever realized that you don’t struggle to get up from bed if you are accustomed to waking up at a certain hour every day? This is because your body adjusts itself so that you wake up naturally and feel sleepy when it’s time to sleep, depending on your schedule. That’s why you need to maintain a consistent sleeping and waking up schedule for your toddler to avoid “confusing” and stressing their body, as that might lead to disruption of quality sleep.

Common toddler sleep issues and how to solve them

If your young one seems to be experiencing the same sleep problems over and over, it’s a sign that you need to fix the issue to prevent it from recurring. Here are some of the most frequently-occurring problems:

1. Bedtime stalling

Most toddlers are professional bedtime stallers and will try in all ways to either convince you to stay until they fall asleep, or look for whatever reason they need to get out of bed. They give all sorts of excuses such as, “just one more kiss”, “one more drink”, “one more bedtime story”, and others. This is, however, one of the most common issues that should not freak you out.

2. Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a perfectly normal sleep problem that shows that your baby has a strong attachment with you as their parent or guardian. The toddler is often afraid that you might leave and fail to come back.

3. Overtired kids who fight bedtime

If your toddler fails to get enough sleep during the day, they often become overtired and stir up all sorts of drama when it’s time to sleep.

4. Jack-in-the-box behavior

When a toddler is finally out of his crib and is now using a big-kid bed, they will often spring out of bed, so you’ll have to tuck them back in. Such habits may be persistent, and the best way to deal with such is to show your young one that you are not upset, or else they might repeat the behavior.

General solutions to sleep problems

If your toddler faces any sleep issues, the following solutions could be of much help:

Don’t sneak away at night - Sneaking can make your young one feel like they are being “neglected” and left to fight their fears alone. Rather than sneaking, try to comfort your kid and reassure them that you will be back in the morning.
Stick to a routine – Consistency is key when it comes to helping a toddler tackle their fears and get used to sleeping alone.
Don’t show unwanted reactions – Showing anger, anxiety, and even frustration can worsen your toddler’s emotions.
Offer them your comfort – You can offer comfort to your young one as long as you don’t let them rely on you. Such comfort should be short, silent, and boring.
Play some soothing sounds – several sounds of nature or some type of music can soothe a toddler so that they won’t feel lonely or have a fear of the unknown.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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