Toddler Sleep Problems

Written by Christa Gatewood
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It can be very difficult to put a toddler to bed. Between the age of one and three children are learning to rationalize and can be a formidable opponent in a battle of wills. The most important thing to remember when putting a toddler down is that you as the parent are in charge. Establishing good bedtime habits early will save a lot of turmoil down the line. It may be easier to give into a toddler at first, but you will create a little monster if you do.

Curbing Toddler Sleep Problems

Toddlers are old enough to be out of the colicky period, but too young to control their emotions when tired. For this reason, when toddlers don't want to go to bed they often throw fits. This is a behavioral problem that can be solved with some simple adjustments. It's important to be consistent with children and creating a bedtime ritual that the child can rely on is imperative. This ritual should be the same every night.

If the child is afraid to go to bed, having a nightlight or giving the child a flashlight can be helpful. Sun alarm clocks that can create a simulated sunset in the room are also useful. The gradual darkening of the room over 15 minutes or more is less perceptible and abrupt.

Giving a child a transitional object such as a blanket, pillow or stuffed animal has also been shown to help alleviate feelings of fear and separation anxiety. When alone in the bed, the child will feel more secure with this object around and will not need a parent in the room. Every child is different, so you have do some experimenting to discover what the trick is with your child. However, consistency is key.


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