Raising a toddler…it’s hard work but SO rewarding!
Raising toddlers as they start to grow and develop can certainly be challenging, even more so when it comes to sleep! Sleep struggles are common among 2 and 3 years of age as a result of huge developmental changes that they are going through, as your child becomes aware of her own mind, emotions and anger as well as frustration and sadness, this tends to come to the surface more frequently.
My Toddler Refuses To Nap..
It is very common for toddlers to refuse to take a nap during the day. You can blame the newfound sense of independence and changing sleep needs however, toddlers are not generally ready to drop this nap until closer to 3.5 years old. You may find that you experience testing behavior or complete meltdowns around dinner time if you toddler has not rested during the day, over-tiredness is the cause there and this may mean bedtime is also a mission.
Nightmares Or Fears Of The Dark
Fear of the dark can establish at around 2.5 years old and your child might need a small night light from this age. Ensure this night light glows red, orange or yellow as blue or white light can stimulate extra wake-ups or difficulty resettling. Exposure to blue light right before bed or during the night can disrupt the healthy production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us feel sleepy.
As your toddler is becoming more aware of the world, this can also mean that she is susceptible to nightmares, terrors or fears surrounding going to bed. This is very real for a toddler, so try not to dismiss these fears and instead talk through them and let her know that there is nothing to be scared of. This may mean that you must check under the beds, in the cupboard if this is what helps to calm your toddler for bed. Try to be aware of any television shows or books that may bring on any of these fears.
It may be beneficial to have an extra long wind down time before bed to ensure that she feels safe and secure, calm and ready for bed.
Toddler sleep regressions…yes you may be experiencing another sleep regression! Sleep regressions do not last forever and at the time they seem like they will never end however, they will! The best advice I can give is to stick to your schedule and be extremely consistent! Around 18 months and 2 years there may be a regression however, not all toddlers go through a regression!
It is never too late to implement these tips into your toddler’s daily schedule, if you would like more information or could benefit from a personalized plan and full support, please do not hesitate to contact me! I look forward to helping the whole family get the much needed sleep you deserve!