Our second son has been a ‘sleepy baby’ – especially compared to our first who was definitely not in this category at all. In fact, to this day we are still surprised and how Smushie can just fall asleep almost anywhere as this was just not something that ever happened the first time around. About a month ago however we went through a typical toddler sleep regression with him and holy molly was it hard – between having both boys wake up multiple times in the night my husband and I felt like we were back in newborn days, but with a super full work load. Like most hard parenting phases this has luckily passed….for now!
This week we have a guest blog from Amy McColl of Baby Sleep Consultants on toddler sleep regression. I am a firm believer of seeking help when you are struggling, which has only come from raw experience of battling so often on our own, so do make sure you check out this great service – they offer a free 15 minute consultation on the phone!
Amy’s Toddler Regression Tips!
Toddlers! Just when you think you have this parenting thing down pat, they throw you a curveball, and that goes for sleep too! If their sleep goes downhill, there is a high chance their mood and behavior will too.
Here are some things to think about if your toddlers sleep has become disrupted:
-Do not drop the day nap too soon! Overtiredness is a huge contributor to unsettled nights. Aim for that afternoon nap to stay in place until 2.5-3 years of age. The nap will shorten as they get older. For younger toddlers, a short morning nap is also beneficial up to 18 months of age. Toddlers 2 years + get tired after 4-6 hours awake.
– Too late of a bedtime? Balance that appropriate awake time with their day nap to find a suitable bedtime. Depending on the age of your toddler this will fall between 6-7.30pm.
– Have they had some changes in their life recently? A new sibling, kindy/daycare, into a big bed? Toddlers recognise small changes around them without always being able to make sense of them. Support them through their changes, try to avoid overtiredness, do de-brief’s at the end of the day and do not be in a rush to ditch the cot!
-Has anything related to sleep become a negative experience? Introduce some rules, rewards and role play to the day to help create a positive sleep theme.
-Finally, introducing a settling technique to help lose those wake ups if they have become a habit, is a key part of the puzzle! Talk to your local Baby sleep consultant about which technique could work best for your child and your family.