Is my toddler sleep deprived?
A sleep deprived toddler may be:
Overactive-they can appear excited and have loads of energy. Lack of sleep makes it hard for them to focus and they become very distracted.
Finding it hard to manage their emotions-grumpier and more irritable during the day
Unable to follow simple requests
Displaying challenging behaviour
Unable to cope with any changes
Having trouble falling asleep-taking a long time to settle at nap and bedtimes
Having irregular nap and sleep times
If you think your little one is sleep deprived, try these top tips.
Give a clear message - night time is sleep time.
Watch your body language -children pick up on our body language better than any words we are saying.
Be consistent- timing and routine are crucial to a good night’s sleep.
Establish a regular bedtime- This will regulate their body clock and ensure healthy sleep/wake patterns. Having a regular routine at about the same time every night means your child’s body will start to prepare for sleep as soon as you start this process.
Introduce Calm down time -Avoid stimulating activities in the hour before bed., turn off TV and stop any electronics. Research has shown light from computers, iPads etc. can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature- ideal 18C (64F). This is probably a little lower than rest of the house. Children sleep better when they are cooler.
Give a warm bath -Quiet relaxing bath, no longer than 15 minutes. Keeping it short means bath time is not too stimulating. The bonus is coming out of the warm water allows the body to cool quickly triggering the sleep hormone melatonin.
Move straight to the bedroom from the bath - going back downstairs at this time will lose the focus and magic of the routine and make your child think it’s time to play again.
These tips are Millpond sleep tips and work very well with children of all ages.
Sleep problems with a toddler can be a mixture of will power, power struggles and habits.
If your toddler is struggling to settle to sleep and you want more advice.
Contact Sue at “Littlelifesteps”.