Sleep problems in Toddlers
Sleep in toddlers and preschoolers can be very challenging.
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Sleep problems in pre-schoolers and junior school
Many problems in this age group stem from a child's struggles between a need to develop independence and the need to be close to those they love. Common sleep disturbance in this age group include:
- Inability or unwillingness to fall sleep or stay asleep alone
- Bedtime fears, bedtime refusal
- Chronic and persistent nighttime waking
- Sleep walking, sleep talking and nightmares
- Poor sleep habits or poor sleep "hygiene". This includes things like irregular bed and wake times or too much television before bed. (See list on Sleep Facts page)
- Parent's being inconsistent or unable to follow through on bedtime rules or routines or in the middle of the night.
- The child associates something which stops them from being able to get to sleep alone. Sometimes a parent will stay or sleep with a child until they fall asleep or the child will sleep in the parental bed.
- Teach young children how to put themselves back to sleep alone. Withdraw your presence form their sleep environment slowly but surely.
- Regulate bed and wake times. Set limits at bedtime.
- Be aware of the signs of fatigue in this age group during the day (hyperactivity, acting out, irritability).
- Have a soothing and gentle routine before bed. Negotiate the routine with
your child and make a deal.
- "We can ???? (e.g. read two books) if you want, but then you have to do ???? (e.g. go to bed now) "
- "Would you like to do ???, then you have to do ???"
Please also visit www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au for more information.