Toddler Sleep can be an elusive concept to most parents. It certainly is in our household. And is often one of our biggest struggles as parents. How do we get our toddlers to sleep?! And that’s not the only question we ask ourselves. Here are a few questions related to toddler sleep that we as parents ask ourselves on a daily basis;
How do I get my toddler to self settle?
What is a good bed time?
What is a good bedtime routine?
Why won’t my toddler sleep in his own bed/cot?
Why doesn’t my toddler sleep through the night?
When should I drop my toddler’s daytime nap?
When will my toddler learn to put himself to sleep?
Is my toddler getting enough sleep?
Is my toddler overtired?
Sound familiar? The questions relating to toddler sleep are endless!
Sleep has never been one of my son’s strengths. He is now almost two and my husband and I are faced with a toddler sleep phase that we are unsure of.
My son wakes at about 7am most days. He naps from 11:30 until 1:30pm and falls asleep fairly quickly. We have a consistent bedtime routine and take him to bed at 8:30pm, but it takes about 60-90 mins for him to fall asleep. He just does not seem tired.
Shall we move bedtime later so that we take him to bed when he’s ready to sleep? He is getting 11-12 hours sleep in 24 hours. Which for my son seems enough sleep. He’s not at all tired and grumpy throughout the day.
Recently I posted a question on a mum’s social media group asking for mum’s of toddlers to post their toddler’s sleep pattern. I just wanted to see if there were other toddlers staying up until 9:30pm. I got over thirty responses. None of which made me feel any better. In fact, most of them made me feel like I was doing a bad job.
‘Sounds like your son is overtired. He needs an earlier bedtime.’
‘You need to shorten his nap time.’
‘Try cutting out his nap time.’
‘You need a sleep consultant.’
‘My toddler sleeps from 6:30pm until 7:30am every night.’
‘You need to be more active in the afternoons so that he’s tired enough to sleep.’
‘Have you tried cutting out dairy.’
‘You need to cut out screen time.’
Lesson of the day – don’t ask for help on social media. Everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing.
Since reflecting on the whole issue, I have come to the following conclusion;
I don’t want to manipulate my son’s sleep patterns. I will not be changing his daytime nap. He still needs a nap during the day so I will continue to let him nap for as long or as short a time as he needs. He’s really grumpy when I wake him up from his naps. Why would I do that to him or myself?!
It would be lovely if he went to bed at 7:30pm but we are clearly not ready for that early of a bedtime yet. So we will try for a later bedtime and see what time he goes to sleep. If we take him to bed at 8:30pm and we spend an hour and 15 minutes trying to settle him to sleep but he doesn’t sleep until 9:45pm. Then we could try a 9:15pm bedtime. If he falls to sleep at 9:45pm then we’ve saved ourselves 45 minutes of desperate settling to sleep time. Instead we can relax together as a family. Work smarter, not harder, right?!
What troubles do you have with your toddler sleep? Where did you go for help? What conclusion did you come up with?