If I am tired, then how can I get my toddler to sleep?
Without sleep, we wouldn’t survive.
While we sleep, important functions occur including cell repair and brain development. Sleep assists learning, memory and mood.
Sleep is important to all of us!! But it is especially important for babies and children!
Babies and children need much more sleep than adults for growth and development.
So how much sleep should my toddler be having per day?
Your toddler should be having around 11-14 hours’ sleep every 24 hours
A guide for how to divide this is:
- 10-12 hour sleep at night
- 1-2 hour nap during the day
How can I help promote healthy sleep habits in my toddler?
Waking up many times through the night is very common in toddlers.
Some toddlers between the ages of 6-18 months will wake many times throughout the night and resettle themselves.
Others will call out and cry because will need help to be resettled back to sleep. This is very normal for this age group.
Some ways to promote good sleep habits are:
- Try to keep a consistent and predictable routine each evening so your child learns what to expect and when (bedtime routine)
- Letting your toddler hold a comforter for example a soft toy or small blanket can be helpful
Advice to assist my toddler’s bedtime routine
- 20 minutes before your toddler’s sleep time, engage in a quiet activity for example reading a bedtime story together
- Before leaving your toddlers bedroom for the night, check that your toddler has everything they need.
Example of bedtime routine
- 6:30 pm: dinner
- 7:00 pm: warm bath
- 7:30 pm: bedtime story
- 7:50 pm: brief cuddle and kiss before sleep time
Things to avoid in my toddler’s bedtime routine
- Avoid boisterous play bedtime. This can make it harder for your toddler to settle
- Turn off the TV, computers and tablets an hour before bedtime, and avoid letting your toddler watch exciting things close to bedtime.
- Avoid leaving your toddlers nap until too late in the afternoon or they may not be ready for bed until late at night.
When to seek help
If sleep problems are causing you and your toddler significant problems, talk your health care professional. Some of the signs of an underlying sleep problem include;
- Breathing pauses during sleep
- Trouble falling asleep
- Problems with sleeping through the night
- Trouble staying awake during the day
- Unexplained decrease in daytime performance
It is important to remember, having a loving, stable and responsive relationship is fundamental to your toddler’s development.
The more experiences your toddler has with you there to support them, the more your child grows and thrives.
When your child feels safe and attached to you, your child is more likely to have the confidence to explore their world. Playing with your toddler strengthens your relationship and encourages your toddler to explore, observe, experiment and solve problems.
If you have any concerns with your child’s development, you can find out more by accessing the Early Childhood Authority’s website at www.eca.gov.ae or contact the Child Health Line on 024194983. Operated by Mubadala Health (available 10:00 am -18:00 pm).
This initiative is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Authority, Mubadala and Mubadala Health