Common Toddler Sleep Problems

Submitted by Nick on December 20, 2013

Getting a toddler to sleep through the night is a task for many moms and dads. Some parents wake up to their toddlers crying in the middle of the night, making unreasonable demands. Others hav e kids aged 2 or 3 who are still sharing a bed with them. The list of similar toddler sleep problems can go on

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If toddler sleep problems do not ring true as yet, they may soon crop up. Several of these issues are related to age and are absolutely normal; others may be signs of an underlying medical or psychological problem. In order to address each of the issues appropriately, it is important to gain awareness of them.


Given below are some of the most common toddler sleep problems –

  • Waking up repeatedly throughout the night: Your toddler may wake up in the middle of the night due to several reasons. This problem is more common in kids who are teething. If that is not the case, check if any changes have taken place in your house recently, like a new bed, the birth of a sibling, the death of a pet or anything else like that. When this issues first crops up, you should go over to your toddler’s room and comfort him for a while. Ask them what is bothering them and encourage them to express their feelings. Only leave the room once your toddler believes that they are alright. If these episodes last for more than a week, delay going into your child’s room by 5 minutes every night.
  • Crying to the point of being sick: There have been several instances of children crying in the middle of the night without any reason. Make it a point to investigate the reason the first few times your child cries, but if the episodes continue for no apparent cause, you may need to use a different approach. Some parents swear by the Ferberizing method, where you let the child cry, without going over to comfort them. This method allows the kids to soothe themselves. If this is too difficult, you can go over to your child and comfort him for a few minutes, before telling him that he needs to stop crying as you are going to sleep.
  • Sleeping in the parent’s bed: There is nothing wrong with having your little one share your bed once in a while, but it can soon become an issue if your toddler refuses to sleep in his own bed. To combat this problem, buy a fancy bed (if finances permit) and encourage your kid to sleep in that. Most kids also have the desire to please their parents, so it may be a good idea to gently explain to him that you prefer him sleeping in his own bed.
  • Nighttime nightmares: Health experts claim that most kids who wake up because of bad dreams are actually bothered by physical problems, like heartburn or acid reflux. If your toddler wakes you up, because of a nightmare, first check if he is suffering from any kind of discomfort. Once you are sure that your child is physically fine, get him to talk about his nightmare. Explain to him that a nightmare, like any other dream, is not real and that he is absolutely safe.
  • Toddler snoring: This problem could actually be a serious one, as it may be a symptom of sleep apnea, a dangerous sleeping condition, where your toddler stops breathing for a few seconds. Toddler snoring should be evaluated as soon as possible.

Every child is different and therefore, there is no definite way of dealing with a particular sleeping problem. However, if the issue persists in spite of addressing it, do consult a child health expert.

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