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Got a nocturnal little one at hand? For some babies, sleeping is a huge task, for others it’s a breeze. Every child’s sleep patterns vary, but most kids suffer from one or more sleeping issues as they grow up. Are your baby’s sleeping issues keeping you up at night? Let’s put an end to your exhaustion by getting to the root of the problem.
Crying out for you, scared of the dark or bad dreams, the cause for sleep-time problems varies for different kids – which one does your darling suffer from?
If we had to broadly look for solutions to bed-time problems then there are a variety of things that can promote sound sleep in toddlers. Snuggling, reading to her, a warm bath or lullabies can help lull your baby in to a peaceful sleep. However, if the problems continue, there are ways to tackle them as suggested by experts.
Toddler Sleep Problems & Their Solutions
1. Sleep Problem: Your child takes forever to fall asleep
Reason: Frequent napping during the day or irregular sleep pattern.
Solution: Having a fixed bed-time for your child is key to forming a habit. If you already have set a pattern or routine, a disruption in that pattern can trigger this problem. Try and fill up your toddler’s morning time with activities and set nap time for after lunch, not exceeding two hours.
2. Sleep Problem: Bed-time nightmares and other fears
Reason: Toddlers have an active imagination that is constantly alert to newer things. Anything like an argument overheard or a fear inducing sight, may come back to her in the form of a nightmare.
Solution: Try and avoid books or movies with anything remotely fearful during bedtime. The best thing to do when your child is afraid is to soothe her and give her security.
3. Sleep Problem: Your child wakes up too early
Reason: Toddlers may wake up at dawn, or when any light enters the room.
Sleep Solution: Usually if a child wakes up too early, she may fall asleep again or play on her own till she gets tired again. Keeping a few toys around or a favourite stuffed animal might help occupy her when she wakes up.
4. Sleep Problem: Your baby wakes up to feed all night
Reason: Your baby probably has her schedule mixed up, eating all night but not enough in the day and napping longer in the day but not all night.
Sleep Solution: For newborns, feeding all night long is completely normal but once your baby crosses 4 months, she should ideally be feeding much more in the day and sleeping a lot longer in the night. In the case that your baby is doing the opposite, you need to gradually work on shifting the schedule by shortening her naps and feeding her more in the day. You can read more about phasing out night feeding for babies here.
5. Sleep Problem: Your baby falls asleep only when you hold her
Reason: This problem is called parent sleep association where the baby can’t sleep unless there is close contact with the parent. In most cases, the mom is the parent in question.
Sleep Solution: If the baby has a stronger association with you in particular, you could try and get your spouse to handle bedtime routines for a while. Sometimes getting someone else to put your baby to sleep can help fix this problem.
We’re sure that no matter what the bed-time issue is that your baby and you are facing, she will eventually outgrow it and learn to treasure her sleep time. The best possible solution for bed-time problems to set schedules that encourage activity during the day so that your little one is tired and sleeps soundly. The right diet will also help a great deal in ensuring that all major functions of the body, including rest, function normally.