consistent parenting advice
consistent parenting advice

Toddler Sleep

Toddler sleep problems have a negative effect on the whole household.
Sleepless nights create obnoxious toddlers and parents who feel shattered beyond belief.

toddler sleep It doesn't help knowing that your toddler's bad habits have often, not only been created by you, but compounded by your own inability to change them due to your own fatigue.

Often, this bone deep tiredness perpetuates illness, such as coughs, colds and flu, further exacerbating the fatigue cycle. And so it goes on!

When tiredness has taken over your life, this is the time to ask for help.

It's surprising how friends and family will come to the fore with their loving energy if they are asked.

Toddler Sleep Habits

toddler sleep Recently while spending time with my my daughter and son in law, I spent some time encouraging my grandson, Jamie, into a consistent sleeping routine.

At 20 months, and now weaned from breastfeeding, his sleep cycle had also changed through illness and then an extended holiday time.

As I talked to Jamie about our expectations for his toddler sleeping habits, I was taken back to the time when a wonderful, caring girlfriend helped opne of my toddlers to settle into a sound toddler sleep habits. What a gift that was for me at a very busy period of my life.

Now each time I am asked to repeat this pattern for others, I feel I am paying back what was done for me, with love!

Toddler Sleep - Jamie's Sleep Problems

Jamie has mostly been breastfed to sleep, so his sleep habits are tied into his feeding patterns. Because Jamie needed to learn how to go to sleep without being fed, he needed to understand what was expected of him with this new routine.

Jamie's Toddler Sleep

Jamie's bedtime routine is soundly in place. First some quiet time, then a bath, then into pyjamas and his sleep sack with his cuddly. Next his Daddy reads to him, gives him a cup of milk, then off to his cot in his bedroom.

To explain to him I say, "It's dark now and all the children are sleeping. Time to lie down in your cot, hold your cuddly and have a big sleep, all night."

At first, he had no concept for being put into his cot awake.

We had chosen not to let him cry, so I would go back into his room, pick him up and repeat the exact sentence in a calm, clear, firm tone, followed by a warm hug and kiss, then place him back down, shutting the door.

toddler sleep Being consistent meant staying with it, so it wasn't surprising that this routine was repeated over several hours! Jamie became quite angry with me at first. The consistent approach means sticking with it, remaining calm and loving, and looking after myself and my feelings, while being very aware of his distress.

This can be very difficult for parents who have given in through tiredness, their inability to remain calm, or not being able to remain consistent. My daughter pointed out that being consistent is the key. She knows that she caves in due to her own tiredness.

Jamie quickly worked out that I would remain consistent in my approach, and settled fairly well. Within three nights of this consistent, firm, but loving routine, Jamie quickly got the picture, learning how to settle himself into sleep, and re-settle if he woke.

He was never left longer than a few minutes, and adjusted easily and well.

toddler sleep His parents report that from fitful, broken nights, Jamie now sleeps all night and settles easily for several hours sleep each day.

Meanwhile they too are catching up on the many hours of sleep they had lost through Jamie's wakeful night times. Every one is sleeping!

Sometimes fathers can be the firmer parent and be able to maintain the clear, firm and consistent approach that is required when putting a sleeping plan in place.

It may be a friend or relative who is able to stay,and relieve the tired mother, by helping with the toddler sleep problem. It certainly is a wonderful gift to give exhausted parents.

At all times, when working with a sleeping problem, awareness of the toddler and his emotional needs is absolutely paramount.

Some parents say that the 'cry it out method' has worked well for them. There is tremendous controversy over various methods to encourage baby and toddler sleep habits and parents must make the decision for themselves as to what they believe will be the best approach for them.

consistent parenting advice There is a virtual library of books written on sleep habits and methods for toddlers. I encourage you to become clear about what feels right for you and your family.

Trust your own intution about what feels right.

Many parents feel criticised and judged for taking a firm approach, while others quietly get on with it.

Some toddlers have other problems that make sleeping difficult for them and if this is your case, I encourage you to seek professional help for your toddler.

More Help With Toddlers:

Aggression in Children
Aggression in children is part of their normal pattern of development. Young children can act aggressively when things don't go their way - they lash out, bite, kick, hit and punch - all highly embarrassing to their parents!

Toddler Tantrums - Dealing with toddler temper tantrums, rage and sudden displays of anger, will be much easier for us if we disabuse ourselves of the whole idea that expressing anger is wrong.

Biting can also be a problem. When your child bites, he is telling you in the only way he knows, that something is bothering him. It may be that he's over excited or tired, bored or frustrated, confused or hungry.

Free Printable Behavior Charts
Free printable behavior, chore, potty charts and more with lots of helpful parenting tips and information!

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