Sometimes, when you are deep in the throes of parenting a 2-year-old, you can wonder:Dear Lord, will this ever end? For most of us, there IS a respite. It’s called 8 p.m. It’s that blessed time of day when your toddler is suddenly quiet and you can peek in, see her angelic sleeping face, and know you have the strength to do it all over again.

Yes, moms and dads NEED that time from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. So what happens when your good baby sleeper suddenly stops sleeping? Or worse, what if you NEVER had a good sleeper to begin with?

There are some sleep issues that need to be addressed now so that they might not get worse down the line. Dr. Hannah Chow is a pediatrician at Loyola University Health System who is an expert on kids and sleep. She says:

“Lack of sleep can cause a lot of stress and difficulty for a child. Kids can have a hard time concentrating, which causes problems in school. There can be physical complications, such as headaches, and it can even cause a child to have a more negative outlook on life.” Yep. Sleep matters. So how do we fix common sleep problems? The Stir talked exclusively to several sleep experts to give us insight into the 7 most common toddler sleep issues and how we can combat them. See below:

1.) Waking up bright and early: “A reasonable wake-up time for a child is anywhere from 5:30-7 a.m., but some children are up before that time wide awake or their wake up time is too early for mom and dad,” says Jenn Kelner, a Certified Child Sleep Consultant who runs a business called BabyZzz.

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 color when it’s time to get up, and an earlier bedtime. It’s counter-intuitive, but the earlier a child goes to bed, the later they will sleep in.” Amen. I saw it with my own kids. Now sleep mom and dad!

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