Does your toddler hate bedtime? Are they having trouble sleeping through the night? Toddlers require a lot of sleep everyday and when they aren’t getting enough in a 24 hour period, it can lead to a fair amount of behavioral issues. During the first few years of their lives, your child is physically and mentally developing at a very rapid rate and sleep is a vital contributing factor when it comes to getting them through this process. When your baby is sleeping, their bodies are recovering and their brain stores everything new they have learned throughout the day. Sleep isn’t only a necessity for your baby, but it’s a necessity for you as well. If your toddler isn’t sleeping then most likely, you aren’t sleeping either. In this article, we are going to list some possible reasons your little one isn’t sleeping and what you can start doing right now to combat their undesirable sleep patterns.
A very common problem that parents have during the “terrible twos” is that their toddler won’t settle when it’s time for bed. If this is something your family is struggling with, then your baby might be sleeping too much during the day. Toddlers from 12 months to 2.5 years should be getting about 14 hours of sleep per day. This should leave about 2 hours for naps and 12 hours of overnight sleeping. If they are over 2.5 years of age then they typically only need about 12 hours of sleep per day and most toddlers drop their mid day nap at this point. Consider adjusting your naptime schedule if you’re allowing your child to sleep for more than 2 hours during the day. Another important factor is deciding when your child takes their naps. Make sure you aren’t allowing them to nap too close to bedtime because then they will definitely have no desire to sleep if they are still running on the energy they received from their daytime nap.
Check The Room Environment
Everyone wants to feel safe and at peace when going to sleep. This same logic applies to the little humans. It’s important to make sure their room feels comfortable to their liking before they go to sleep otherwise the 3am human alarm clock will come knocking on your door because “it’s too cold”. It may be helpful to make a checklist of how to arrange the room in the best way possible for them to be able to sleep. You can even involve your toddler when going through the list. Adding this step to the bedtime routine can get your child excited for bed. They will feel included and also take comfort in making their own space feel safe. Encouraging that kind of independence can be very beneficial if they struggle with separation anxiety. Some items to add to your checklist could be:
● Checking the room temperature
● Make sure they have their favorite stuffed animal
● Close the closet door if they are scared of the “monsters” inside
● Turn on their nightlight
● Turn on their white noise machine
Many children also struggle with the fear of missing out on whatever is going on while they are asleep. So if your toddler isn’t accustomed to sleeping comfortably while they are in earshot of hearing people talking or watching TV, be aware of that. Keep the noise level down as much as possible. If you would like to train them to sleep through a louder household at night, you can introduce that concept slowly through naptime.
2-Year Old Sleep Regression
So let’s say you have been doing everything right. Up until now your toddler was sleeping perfectly fine and then suddenly they weren’t. It may feel like the years of establishing a bedtime routine and other sleep training has just flown out of the window. Well, don’t be too alarmed. Your child is most likely going through sleep regression. Sleep regression is when your little one suddenly starts experiencing a number of sleep disturbances. For a period of time they will either wake up much earlier in the morning, wake up throughout the night or have trouble falling asleep to begin with at bedtime. The good news is, this is most likely a temporary problem and it’s not uncommon. The causes of sleep regression could be a number of things such as:
● A big change in the family
● Separation anxiety
● Different fears they start to develop
● Developmental advances
● Significant changes to the naptime schedule
How do you help your toddler battle sleep regression? Honestly, you go back to the basics. Try revamping your bedtime routine. Involve your toddler as much as you can in the routine and even discuss it with them and make sure you all agree on what the routine is. This will encourage them to want to stick to the routine and help you all follow through and stay consistent. At some point, I’m sure your toddler will be walking you through what comes next before bedtime step by step. It is understandably frustrating when your child can’t sleep fully through the night because that means the next day for you as a parent will probably be rough, but remember to have patience as you’re making the adjustments to get back to normal. Patience, time and consistency are the top 3 attributes you need to acquire for yourself and your family in order to really start correcting those sleep patterns.
Why An NYC Sleep Consultant Is Right For You
So you’ve tried these methods and it’s still not working, huh? It may be time to seek the guidance of a professional. Sleep consultants are infant and toddler sleep specialists that can help families get their nights back to normal by providing remote or in-home sleep training. They can give you the relief and the supportive care needed for you and your toddler to get back to your beauty rest. Sleep Shop is staffed with many well certified sleep consultants that not only have great techniques, but also plenty of their own personal experience. Our goal is to use these techniques to restore your peace of mind while tailoring our tactics to each family’s unique goals. We want to take out as much chaos and stress from your life as possible so that you can get back to thriving together as a family!
About The Sleep Shop
The Sleep Shop is led by Melissa, a mother of four, and is a member of the International Association of Professional Sleep Consultants.
We offer one-on-one unlimited consulting, sleep classes with our founder, phone consultations, 1-week jumpstarts, infant sleep guides, 2 weeks of consulting, toddler nap guides, toddler sleep guides, toddler total resets, and “the toddler tune-up”.
We offer sleep consulting services in all of New York City including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Flat Iron District, Turtle Bay, Tribeca, Upper East Side, Soho, Staten Island, and the greater NYC area.