Crying tantrums, waking up in the middle of the night, wanting to share mommy’s bed are some of the problems parents face when it comes to a peaceful sleep for their little one. Remember, toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Let’s take a look at some of the most common sleep problems your little one may face and possible ways to handle these problems:
Not sleeping in their bed
When children make the transition from sleeping in a cot to sleeping alone in their room, they may throw tantrums and insist on sleeping with their parents. In such a situation, you need to be firm about it and spend time in your kid’s room till he/she falls asleep. Instead, of finding a perfect bed time routine or alternating between each other to put your kid to sleep, try to regularly chat in your kids’ room after putting them to bed and dimming the lights. This gives them a sense of security and makes them comfortable.
Delaying their bed time
Just one more story or just 5 more mins of cartoon are excuses you’ve probably heard all too often. Handle this problem smartly! Intentionally, set an earlier bed time because you know kids are going to ask for a few more minutes. This way you’re lulling them into thinking they are getting their way while actually you are getting yours.
Waking up often
Firstly look for an underlying problem like discomfort, upset stomach, teething problems etc. However, if your little one is waking up or crying just to seek your attention it’s time to be firm and find a solution. You can either choose to indulge yourself every time they wake up and lull them back to sleep or opt for ‘ferberizing’ – a method where you let your baby cry for a certain time (pre-decided by you) before you rush to them. By opting for the latter method your child will eventually learn self-soothing to sleep on their own.
Napping at the wrong times
Being a toddler is a transitional period. As a baby they are used to napping through the day due to which they may find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Start gradually by reducing the number of naps during the day and indulging them in some physical activities. This will ensure that they tire themselves out by bed time and have a good, long, peaceful sleep.
Toddlers have a vivid imagination and often mix it up with reality. So any number of things in their waking life can cause nightmares. They’re also not used to change, so any sort of change in their pre-school or changes in parents’ schedules can make them anxious which may trigger nightmares. Generally the best way to handle this situation is to calm your little one with soothing words and talk to him/her about it.