Are you a parent or guardian of a precious toddler? Is your toddler having issues sleeping at night? Don't worry, you're not alone and we are here to help you with this problem.
Common sleep problems in toddlers
Excitement due to change in bed
Sometimes children have trouble falling asleep due to a recent change in their sleep habitat. Your toddler may have just moved to their new bed from a baby crib. The new, larger bed, and the newly acquired ability to crawl or walk gets them excited. They are curious about everything, and it gives them a rush. You might observe that they continuously try to get out of bed and want you to indulge with them during sleep time at night says Jonah Engler.
Many kids show incredible persistence in their excitement and insist on playing. If this happens during their bed or nap time, you need to acquire an equally opposite behavior. Try not to indulge them, and every time they crawl out of bed, calmly tuck them back in. Do not show signs of disappointments or say that you're upset. This will teach them that bedtime is designated for only sleep, and they'll slowly get used to it.
Additionally, make sure you turn off any lights and electronic devices that might be distracting them.
Many children go through separation anxiety when transitioning from their baby phase into their toddler years. It is equally difficult for new parents just as it is for the children. Around the age of 1, children start distinguishing between their primary caretakers and any new characters. You need to treat your child gently, but you'll also have to be firm about a few things to help them grow out of it.
Consistency in bedtime rituals and routine plays a vital role in helping your child cope with separation anxiety. Make sure their surrounding is calm, noise-free, and ensures sound sleep. It's also essential to not give in to your child every time they become upset or start crying. DO NOT cry with them, as it reinforces their belief that something terrible is being done to them says Jonah Engler.
We would also strongly recommend against sneaking out quietly once they start feeling sleepy because it might worsen their anxieties further. They could become more alert towards any movement and will develop trust issues.
Nightmares and bedtime fears
Children have a sharp imagination, and they pick on things quickly. This can result in nightmares during their sleep or bedtime fears. These troubles can leave your child dreading bedtime, and it can be noticed in the anxiety that they show at the mention of bedtime.
Your child could be struggling to distinguish their dreams from reality or could be consuming content that's directing their imagination towards fearsome creatures. Therefore, it's essential to be mindful of these things and not just ignore these signs so your kids can fall asleep feeling safe at night.
First and foremost, you need to monitor all the content that your child might be exposed to. This includes the stories that they listen to and how other people communicate with them. You need to strictly prohibit the mention of imaginary creatures like "boogeyman" in your house.
You can counter these nightmares by introducing your child to happier and more colorful stories. Another useful trick is to invent make-believe "magic-monster repellent." It will calm your child once you show them that you've used it, and now it's safe to sleep.
According to Jonah Engler it's normal for children to have sleep issues, and it's all part of the growing up journey. You shouldn't be too consumed with worry unless you feel it's seriously affecting your child's development.
However, most of these issues can be solved by simple tricks and methods that we discussed above. With the right environment and little bit of attention, your child will grow out of these problems.