Facing bedtime struggles?? Ha, as a matter of fact, children like to sleep less than the adults, and parents keep on wondering what’s wrong! Bedtime struggles are the most common complaints that the parents have are for toddlers. In the first few years parents hardly get sound sleep as their child does not sleep properly. It is necessary to understand that there’s a great variability in a baby’s sleeping patterns and needs. Few babies may need 20 hours of sleep a day while some wander off to the dreamland for only 10 hours. It is important that your baby or toddler sleeps properly so that you can sleep tight too. Expert says toddler between 2-3 years of age must sleep for 11-12 hours at night and take a 1 or 2 hours nap each afternoon. There are a few common observations of sleep patterns which are seen in most of the toddlers like:
1 .Delaying Bedtime:
They will do everything so that their bedtime can be delayed like asking for water at bed or something to eat. They might ask to go to toilet even if they had peed just 10 minutes before. If it’s a reasonable request you must allow them, but tell them clearly this is the last time, after this they have to sleep. Firmness and being consistent can help you with this every night struggle. Toddlers like to be paid attention to, and turns out they really know how badly parents want them to sleep, thus negotiating a great deal!
2. Difficulty in Falling Asleep
Some toddlers genuinely find it difficult to fall asleep without their parents. You need to gradually make them sleep alone. Switch off TV, lights or laptops if any at your toddler’s bedroom. For the first day sit next to her/him ,make her sleep and get away from that place slowly but be nearby to check her if she needs you all of a sudden. Next day ask your child to make her favorite doll fall asleep and tell her you will come after 10-15 minutes .You may find her sleeping gradually, may be on the third or fourth day, or a week or so. The best way to let them sleep on their own is to let them play a lot which means regular physical activity. After getting tired they will love to sleep but make sure you feed them prior to their sleep.
3. Change Of Bed
If you travel with your children frequently, try not to make them sleep regularly at one place. Keep on changing their bed so that they can sleep somewhere else also when needed. If you have not done so and are out at some hotel or relative’s place ,carry your kid’s favorite bed sheet or toy which can help in making him feel homely.
4. Waking at Night
Some toddlers’ wake up at night and want their parents to make them fall asleep again. If they fall asleep easily again its normal but if it is difficult to make them sleep again, it becomes a problem. Try giving some sleep coaching if possible or consult with doctor once to check if there is any other problem.
5. Pushing Sleep Away
Due to change in routine sometimes your toddler may refuse to take a nap while he/she actually needs it. Let them have a say in what nightdress to wear or which doll to take to bed. Ask them to come to bed for a good story; let them choose what they want to hear. Let them listen to story with the closed eyes. You may find them sleeping!
Different kids have various sleep patterns which also depends on their parents regular routine. As a parent you need to understand and treat them accordingly.