Toddler Sleep Problems

Learning about Different Toddler Sleep Problems

It is common for parents to experience various types of toddler sleep problems.  Some children between the ages of one and two will begin to experience problem with sleep.  In fact, around the age of three, several issues can arise.  Usually, sleep issues are simply a part of the child’s age and stage of development but also, there could also be some type of physical or psychological issue.  For this reason, parents should never assume anything but have the child seen by a doctor if standard methods do not help.

We wanted to provide some of the different toddler problems that may occur.

Nighttime Nuisances

The solution for dealing with toddler sleep problems will depend on the child, his or her age, and the actual cause.  Disrupted sleep can be caused by a variety of things to include teething and being ill.  For this, you might give the toddler baby Tylenol or rock him/her back to sleep.  However, middle-of-the-night nuisances can also be the result of recently moving from a crib to a big boy/girl bed, bringing a new baby into the home, moving to a new home, going to a different babysitter, etc.  Providing reassurance or perhaps singing a song will certainly help.

Being Overtired

Another one of the common toddler sleep problems has to do with a child becoming overly tired.  When this happens, the child is difficult to comfort.  He/she will cry, toss and turn, and appear miserable.  While difficult, toddlers may just have to cry themselves to sleep.  Be sure to look in on the toddler every five to ten minutes but without entering the room, again providing reassurance.  Hearing a toddler cry in this type of situation is harder on parents and does no harm to the child.

Manipulating Parents

No parent wants to think the toddler is being manipulative but this happens.  As children age, they quickly learn they can play one parent off the other.  For toddler sleep problems for this type of scenario, mom and dad need to agree on bedtime, routine, and the way problems would be handled.  If the child cries, both parents should stand at the child’s door to provide reassurance, which will teach the toddler that mom and dad cannot be manipulated.

Sleeping in the Parent’s Bed

Yes, there are times when a toddler can climb into bed with mom and dad but if not careful, this can easily turn into a hard-to-break habit.  Toddler sleep problems can develop from allowing this type of behavior, which is why experts recommend that every child have his/her own bedroom and bed, with the parents reinforcing the arrangement.


Nightmares and Night Terrors

Finally, of all toddler sleep problems, these are without doubt the most worrisome and disturbing.  With nightmares, the child is having unpleasant visions during the latter part of sleep.  When the toddler awakens, he/she would remember most of the dream.  Therefore, you should talk about whatever it was that frightened the child and then turn the story into one with a good ending.  Then, providing the child with love and reassurance will help.

For night terrors, the child is having horrific dreams during the first part of sleep.  The difference between nightmares and night terrors is that upon wakening, the child remembers nothing.  However, while experiencing a night terror, the child will likely scream, sweat, and his/her heart would be pounding.  As long as the child is not sick or snoring, you need to break the cycle by waking him or her every 15 minutes.  With consistency, you can eliminate night terrors within days or weeks.  Obviously, toddler sleep problems like these are a horrible experience for mom and dad.