Toddler Sleep

Toddlers are fragile beings who need adequate sleep for proper development. Toddler sleep can be difficult when there are nocturnal nuisances and constant difficulties in their sleeping conditions. Toddler sleep requirements include a specific number of hours, a comfortable sleeping area, and a regular schedule for sleep to become a routine. It is important for parents and caregivers to provide these requirements to come up with a toddler sleep schedule, essentially ensuring the healthy growth of your little one.

Toddler sleep: How much sleep does your toddler really need?

Children between one to three years old need about twelve to fourteen hours of sleep each day. Toddler sleep schedules mostly start at seven in the evening and end at eight in the morning. In some cases, a toddler can have too much sleep, which results in a grumpy morning. Toddlers are in the rapid eye movement or REM stage of sleep longer than adults. However, toddlers have the tendency to wake up a couple of times in the middle of the night. This is when parents must be able to give the toddler sleep requirements to help the toddler get back to a peaceful slumber.

Toddler sleep schedule includes a nap once or twice a day. A toddler nap helps in improving the toddler's sleep at night. Toddlers often show a sign of fatigue, which signals that they are ready for sleep. This helps parents in deciding on the suitable sleeping schedule of the toddler. Parents must impose this schedule for toddler sleep and nap. This will instill healthy sleeping habits, resulting in the toddler's optimum physical and mental development.

Toddler sleep problems: Why is your toddler difficult to put to sleep?

Toddler sleep is not always as easy as waiting for the toddler to show signs of fatigue at the usual toddler sleep schedule. There are many reasons why toddlers wake up and cry in the middle of the night, and refuse to go back to bed. Toddler sleep problems may be caused by common reasons such as the toddler is afraid of the dark, the toddler hears frightening sounds, or the toddler hears the parents fighting.  Even a simple reason like an uncomfortable toddler bedding will cause the toddler not to sleep soundly.  Another heavy cause of toddler sleep disorder is separation anxiety. Because of this, many toddlers, when left alone to sleep, develop sleeping difficulties.

Toddler sleep problems can be easily remedied by enforcing a sleeping schedule. Make a list for your toddler's bedtime routine. The toddler can start with drinking milk, then brushing his teeth, then read a bedtime story, and finally sleep. Emphasize the importance of following this sleeping routine. This routine should not be stressful for the toddler as too many activities would only increase sleeping problems.

Too much sleep for toddlers should equally be avoided in making a schedule for toddler sleep. How much sleep must be identified by regularly observing the toddler's sleeping pattern.

Finally, always check the condition of the bed.  There might be small or flat pieces of toddler toys left on the bed that will make sleeping uncomfortable.  The pillow might be too soft or too stiff.  Check that there is no clothing, such as mittens or a shirt, left lying around underneath the bed mattress. This could cause the toddler bed surface to be uneven causing discomfort to your young one.

There are more serious cases of toddler sleep disorders that parents should consult with physicians. Toddler sleep apnea is an ailment when a toddler experiences breathing interruptions while he sleeps. This may be caused by a blockage in the respiratory track, or a deficiency of the brain in instructing the muscles to inhale and exhale. Toddler sleep apnea can be complicated and possibly serious. It is important that an immediate diagnosis and treatment be done.

Toddler naps: How do naps improve toddler sleep?

Toddler naps serve as positive reinforcement to toddler sleep. Research has shown that the right amount of nap improves the quality of evening sleep of toddlers. Toddlers generally need one or two naps every day: one nap in mid-morning, and another in the early afternoon. The length of each nap must be between one and a half to two hours. Toddlers must nap in an area with proper ventilation and moderate temperature. Suitable ventilation helps in the development of the toddler's breathing.

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