How to get my toddler to fall asleep better

There are many reasons for your toddler have problems falling asleep.

Many children this age have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. The chances that your toddler will have a sleep problem go up if he’s a boy, is your first child, or is prone to ear infections, among other reasons.

Parents are often more anxious about attending to firstborn children and tend to let bedtime routines and rules slide. Boys are more vulnerable to many problems (including hyperactivity and other disorders) that can interfere with sleep. And toddlers who have frequent ear infections tend to wake up at night when they don’t feel well — then continue that pattern when they’re well.

But fewer than 10 percent of toddlers have a true sleep disorder, defined as a more serious sleep problem rooted in a physiological condition. If you suspect your child might qualify, visit with your toddler’s doctor.

If your toddler is taking four-hour power naps during the day but still waking up at night then you need to help him shift his schedule so he does the biggest share of his sleeping at the right time — night. The experts agree that you need to readjust his clock by waking him from his naps for playtime, by making sure he doesn’t snooze too late in the afternoon, and by keeping his room dark at night and light during the day.
Daytime changes, including illness, vacations, shifts in routine and leaps in development, can affect your toddler’s nighttime sleep patterns. Even the best sleeper will have problems falling and staying asleep from time to time.

If your toddler suddenly starts waking up during the night, step back and evaluate the situation. First, go into your toddler’s room when it is dark to see if some toy or teddy bear is making a scary shadow on the wall.
Next, consider whether the nighttime awakenings are following a period of illness, a vacation or another change to his routine. If so, some sleep disturbance is to be expected. Whether or not you can pinpoint the cause of the change in your child’s sleep patterns, bad habits can develop quickly.

In your look for a slumber solution, you may be tempted to try different things such as rocking him to sleep or putting on music, but this will just become a problem and you will be having to do this every night,

The best way to deal with a sleep setback is to stick with what worked before. Don’t suddenly change your toddler’s bedtime routine or how you respond to him during the night. Remaining consistent will help your toddler return to sleeping through the night. It may take a few nights or even a few weeks to get back on track, but the closer you stick to your regular sleep routine, the sooner the problem will be resolved.

No matter how good a sleeper your toddler is, you’re bound to run into a problem or two from time to time. It may be something health-related, such as a cold or an ear infection, or something rooted in your toddler’s behavior, such as head banging or sleepwalking. The good news is that most of the things that interrupt your child’s sleep are temporary; the bad news is that while they’re happening, neither you nor your toddler is likely to get all the sleep you need.

This is just a quick overview on why your toddler is not sleeping well at night. I am sure volumes can be written on this problem. Don’t do what I did – I moved a television in my toddler’s room. Boy, did I ever have problems breaking that habit!

Reference: BabyCenter.com