Often times parents are given the short end of the stick when it comes to toddlerhood. I mean, the whole milestone begins with a sleep regression! Doesn’t seem fair.
Your child is changing every single day. He is a little sponge soaking up everything around him and learning new ways to express himself. This is most exciting except for the well-timed “f’ bomb at grandma’s house and the full-out temper tantrum at the grocery store.
Through all of the changes and new behaviours, one thing needs to be consistent. Sleep. If your toddler is overtired regularly you are going to have a really tough time.
Sometimes babies learn to sleep well early and then have a slight regression around 18 months of age. Other babies do not learn the skill of sleeping well and become toddlers who don’t sleep well. I can tell you from experience that if it carries on from this point there will be many other issues than just a cranky 2-year-old.
Around the preschool age of 3, children who don’t sleep well and are overtired will begin to show their overtiredness through behaviours. Parents often think their child is being disobedient, (sometimes they just are) however, sleep-deprived children don’t look tired. They look hyperactive and angry and very oppositional.
So do yourself a favour parent, help your child learn to sleep!
First, and foremost, you need to know how much sleep your child needs. It is impossible to make sure your child is getting enough sleep if you don’t know what healthy sleep looks like for their age.
It isn’t exact for every child. Some children will nap a little longer than other children and some will nap until they are a little older. Naps have a huge impact on night sleep so it is important to have guidelines but make allowances for your child’s specific needs.
Here is a good guideline:
18 months – 2.5 years
Wake up 7:00 am
Nap 12:30 – 2:00
2.5 – 3.5 years
Wake up 7:00
Most children should drop the nap between 2.5 – 3.5 years of age. Napping too late can cause issues with nighttime sleep and the consolidated 12 hours of sleep at night is the most important
If you have tried everything and your toddler still isn’t getting those 12 hours of sleep at night, you should reach out and let me tell you how I can help! Initial consultations are always FREE and include tips that can help you right away!
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