Toddlers may get disturbed with their surrounding noises and hence it is difficult to get toddler to sleep. Moreover during this stage in life they will in an imaginary world and their imaginations goes sky-high and may interrupt their sleep. Hence during this period toddlers require a strict bed time routine.
Toddler between the ages of one to three should get at least 10 to 13 hours of sleep and this period can either be continuous during the night or can split in to night time sleep and day time nap. But sometimes the day time nap takes away the night sleep and makes it harder for the kid to sleep at night. If so combine both the sleep together and allow the kid to sleep early. Proper sleep makes the difference between a cranky, difficult to manage kids and happy and playful kid.
Different Phases of Sleep
Toddlers sleep in the same manner as that of an adult and goes through drowsiness, light sleep, dream sleep and then to deep sleep and returns back through all these stages before they wake up. At night, toddlers wakes at least five times from their sleep and at this point they may turn over, mumble, strike the legs and arms on the sides of the coat, even sit up with their eyes wide open and then lie down back to sleep.
Tips for Toddler Sleeping
Functions such as birthday parties, visitors from the family or a boisterous play around the bed time etc may over-stimulate the kid. The tiredness, tension and excitements are more likely to develop tantrums in toddlers at the end of the day and they may remain awake and refuse to settle down. Hence watch for the first signs of sleep like rubbing the eye, getting irritated etc and take them to their room and allow them to calm down and then put them to sleep. Don’t fall in to their “five more minutes” or “please mamma” phrases and force them to sleep.
Similarly if the parents are coming back from work at the time of their toddler’s sleep then the sight of the parents may make the toddler excited and if parent start to play with them or try to catch them or play hide and seek then it will make them more excited and interfere their sleep. Hence during this time parents must handle their kid calmly and quietly by having a cuddle or by reading a bedtime story.
If the toddlers are seeing unfamiliar objects around them while getting up in between the sleep then they may not fall asleep and this makes them awake during holidays or in other houses. Therefore keep their familiar objects around them so that each time when they surface the sleep, they face these things and feel more comfortable and fall asleep.
Certain parents keep crib mobile in their toddlers crib or many toys around their kids bed, the rotating noise, lights and sound produced by the crib mobile is enough to interfere with the toddlers sleep and inhibits them from fall deep sleep. Older toddlers get excited and play with the toys around their bed and restrict their sleep to only shutting of their eyes. Hence avoid all such distractions and provide darkness in the room to assist your child to fall asleep. Babies having no night-time fears can be provided with good darkness to sleep while the older toddlers who have night-time fear can have a soft night lamb.
Similarly watching TV or computer games just before sleep take away the precious time to sleep and this in turn affects the mood of the child during the next day. Rather parents can take their kids for a warm bath and read stories to the kids or provide a soothing massage to their loved ones with some lotions or can even sing lullabies. It is also ideal to end the day with a nice talk about the activities of the day.
Many parents use motion to make their kids sleep but if the child gets used to sleeping continuously in moving swings or strollers then it becomes difficult for him/her to get a deep sleep and which affects his/her health. It is ideal to swing a cranky child as it helps to soothe him/her but as soon as he/she fall asleep then stop the swing to provide a better quality sleep to the kid.
Some parents allow their kids to share their bed during early mornings even though they restrict the kid from coming to the bed during the late night. This will help in teaching the kids that they may have to wait uncompromisingly or need to persist for longer to get what their want. This inconsistency in sleeping place interrupts the sleep of both parents and kids. Hence if there is a practice of sleeping in different bed then stick to it. There can be exception to it such as if the kid is not well or if they are scared of something then the parent can share the kid’s bed for time being.
Most of the working parents does not keep any routine sleep patterns and give least preference to sleep. They also may not insist their kids to go to bed in time. This makes the kids to stay awake till late night and this reduces their sleep time which often affects the kid’s health.
Toddlers at times become very active even at 11 pm and if so the parents must consider their nap time. If the toddler sleeps for four hours during the noon then he may not be tired by 11pm and it becomes difficult to make them sleep again. Hence reduce the nap time or even stop the napping of the kid and put him to sleep early at night.
Even after setting a good sleep pattern kids at times may not sleep. Then the parents much check whether they are suffering from cold, pin worm infection, teething problems, ear infection, growing pain, sleep apnoea etc. If any of these problems are detected then treat them accordingly. For growing pain massage the arms and legs slowly and such pains last only for 10 to 15 minutes.
For developing a good sleep pattern parents should keep good patience and be ready to spare your time for your kid. Effort for a week or two would be enough to develop a good sleeping pattern for your toddler and thereafter you can enjoy your time.
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