Getting a toddler to go to bed, stay in bed and sleep through the night can be a battle and exhausting.
Jenn Kelner, a sleep consultant and owner of BabyZzz helps families with infants, babies and toddlers become well-rested families through sleep solutions and support.
She shares 10 toddler sleep habits with solutions to help children – and parents – get a better night’s rest.
1. Early risers
A reasonable wake up time for a child is anywhere from 5:30-7am, but some children are up before that time wide awake or their wake up time is too early for mum and dad.
Solution: Room darkening shades to block out morning light, white-noise machines to block out morning street noise, a timed light or child alarm clock that changes colour when it’s time to get up, and an earlier bedtime. It’s counterintuitive, but the earlier a child goes to bed, the later they will sleep.
2. Refuses to nap but still needs a nap
A nap may be missed due to illness, travel or change in routine. As the child gets more overtired, it becomes more difficult to nap. This will have a cumulative effect, which may cause the child to refuse to nap altogether.
Solution: Earlier bedtime to help make up that sleep deficit and make it easier to nap, get the child outdoors in the morning for fresh air and exercise, very soothing routine before naptime, and leave the child for 60 minutes to give them the opportunity to fall asleep without stimulation. Once the nap has been re-established, bedtime can be moved a little later.