Toddler Night Sleep Trouble

May 17, 2011

The world of sleep changed for SuperBoy as soon as he could crawl, sit up by himself, and (eeeek) stand up in his crib. So at 9 months we faced teething-related night waking, sitting-up-crying while-asleep, and many sleepless nights. A few thoughts on toddler night sleep problems & potential solutions. 1) Be forgiving. To yourself, for moments of frustration, and to your baby, for his inability to express what’s preventing sleep. Be realistic that no solution is a one-size fits all. Be realistic that your own child may respond differently to the same night parenting technique. Be realistic that anyone who says their child sleeps perfectly is probably deluding themselves or embarrassed to admit to normalcy. 2) Reasons for awakening. Try process of elimination: a) Habit? b) Hunger? c) Diaper? d) Fear/Noise? e) Poor sleep during the day (bad sleep begets bad sleep)? f) Stress/Changes at home? g) Sick/Teething? 3) Habit. Sleep training works, sleep awakening at night training works too, unintended though it may be. What time is bed time? What are your bed time rituals? If you don’t have consistency in how you get your child to sleep, it doesn’t make sense to expect him to maintain consistent sleep patterns. Bed time for the first few months was arbitrarily throughout the evening. He’d fall asleep from 8 to midnight, nurse, and then sleep from midnight to 3 or 4am, nurse, then sleep til 7 or 8am. I hated getting up multiple times so I’d stay up until midnight so…

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