Sleeping Toddler

5 Toddler Sleep Facts You Probably Never Heard Of

Many toddlers experience sleeping problems including but not limited to resisting sleep, night time awakening, sleeping fears, nightmares and night terrors.

They have an incredible drive for independence with an increase in their motor skills and social abilities, which can interfere with their sleep patterns.

Getting your toddler in a routine for night time will be a great help to assist them to relax and for them to know what to expect when the routine starts.

Here are some interesting toddler sleep facts you need to know:

5 Toddler Sleep Facts You Probably Never Heard Of

  1. Growth Spurt

When your toddler starts experiencing changes in their sleeping pattern there might be underlining issues that you are not aware of. For example is your toddler suddenly sleeping more than usual? The cause of this may be a growth spurt.

Here are tell tale signs for growth spurts parents can look out for:

  • They have a high increase in appetite
  • Increased sleepiness during the day, asking for more naps or falling asleep doing normal tasks
  • Aches and pains – your toddler will very likely start complaining that their joints are sore

All these symptoms of growth spurts are easily treatable.

With the increase of appetite make sure there are always have healthy snack options and don’t scold them for constantly asking for something to eat.

The increased level of sleepiness is a sign of a big growth spurt brewing. Let them sleep, if it is not possible to change your family’s routine around your toddler, try putting them to bed a bit earlier or let them sleep later in the mornings. They need this extra sleep and energy for their bodies to prepare for what’s coming.

For the aches and pains a warm cloth or hot water bottle with lukewarm water in the area always works well.

  1. Sleeping Problems

Toddlers can experience a variety of sleeping problems like nightmares, awakening during the night, separation anxiety and night terrors.

The key for any parent is to stay calm during these situations and to support their child with whichever one of these the toddler is dealing with.

If your  toddler wakes up crying every morning the cause could be night terrors.

Below are a few points to try and prevent night terrors and awakening.

  • Adequate sleep is very important; a toddler needs an average of 11-14 hours sleep in a space of 24 hours. Ensure your toddler has a regular bed time and that they take their afternoon naps.
  • Routine is a major factor for toddlers; a routine makes them feel secure and confident.
  • Ensure they feel safe in their sleeping environment.
  • Bedtime should be calm, try reading your toddler a book before bed time.

It is also a great idea to spend time discussing your day and just have one on one time with them. Ask them what the good and bad parts of their day were so they can process their thoughts and feelings before going to sleep.

Toddler Girl Asleep

  1. Sleep boosts learning in Toddlers

Sleep is very important for toddler’s learning abilities. It is a proven fact that sleep increases a toddler’s ability to retain information learnt during the day.

If your toddler is in day care insure that the care taker has a strict nap schedule for the kids.

Toddlers sleep better after a snack time or lunch as the old saying goes “tummy’s full eyes closed”.

  1. Is a T.V in a toddler’s bedroom good or bad?

The fact is T.V is a huge problem for toddlers. A TV in a toddler’s bedroom can disrupt their sleep.

Their minds will not relax even after the TV is switched off. They will still be thinking of what they just watched. Instead of TV time as mentioned previously, rather try story time and read to your child. This way you and your child have one on one bonding time before bedtime and they are able to relax before sleep.

  1. Childhood Insomnia

This is very real for some toddlers. Their minds are unable to switch off after a long busy day. Toddler insomnia may also be caused by trauma experienced by the toddler.

Luckily this is also treatable and often this will resolve itself over time.

Here are some of the reasons that might cause toddler insomnia to take note of:

  • Sugar intake – A toddler’s sugar intake should be controlled, especially later in the day when they won’t be as busy as during the earlier hours of the day. Try to limit their sugar intake.
  • Side affect of Medication – Certain medications can cause insomnia in toddlers, be sure to check with your GP about the prolonged side effects of prescribed medication especially for ADHD

In conclusion. try to keep your toddler in a routine as far as possible and have a calm night time routine. Remember they do as they see. If they see their parents following and enforcing this routine every night it will become a habit for them.

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  1. Toddlers definitely need routine and constant monitoring when it comes to sleep and eating! It is almost comic to see them get through their growth spurts. Eating a little more, being more active and generally not understanding what is happening with them. I agree about the no TV in the bedroom. Worst idea ever. We used music and storytime to get our son to doze off into dreamland. And it is a fact that children need a fixed bedtime to maintain the discipline. Heaven knows that when they get to college there’s nothing you can do about it! Great tips, Lynne

    • Lynne Huysamen

      Haha my kids are always begging me to have their own TV in their bedroom and they always get a big fat NO from me. Yes the growth spurt thing is hectic. I can’t believe how much my kids grow when going through a growth spurt!

  2. My little one always slept through but now that she is 3. She is always waking up from nightmares and I am at my wits end already.

    • Lynne Huysamen

      I’m so sorry to hear that Candice! It could be all the anxiety surrounding the pandemic? Or perhaps she is watching tv too close to bed time?

  3. This article is a source of inspiration for me, it has helped me with my toddler’s sleep problems.

  4. All my grandchildren sleeps well…they are in a routine…20h00 they will go to bed…say their prayers….and i read and sing for them…it wasnt always like this….only untill we removed the tvs from their rooms.. thank you Lynne for the article…its very intresting

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