Toddler and Sleep Matters

by Nancy Sivilai, Toddler 1 Class

By toddler age 2, your child’s sleep pattern needs will include 11 to 13 hours of sleep daily including naps.  Understanding why napping matters and how to create a good sleep routine for your child’s sleep needs matters.

The larger part of sleeping is the nighttime sleep which includes the first 11 hours.  While the naptime sleep (3 hrs.) will be taking place in the afternoon.   Most toddlers have one naptime.  Always remember  that it is more important for your child to  get a solid night’s rest than to nap.  That being said, if it happens then compensate by making bedtime earlier.   As mentioned,  toddler need about 13 hours of rest. 

Why are naps and sleep important?  Science and child development experts provide us  the reason why toddlers benefit from naps and good sleep.  During the early years, rapid brain development is happening and this is the cause for  little ones to feel tired and sleepy.  The younger the more sleep needed.  Think of babies they sleep most of the day and through the night.  It would be safe to say that rest is a must for healthy brain development and growth.  

Other benefits from resting are linked to better emotional regulation.  We all can agree that being well-rested removes stressors and makes us happier people.  Children who are overtired are fighting the stress hormone cortisol which leads to tantrums, tears, becoming anxious, or frustration.  On the other hand, children who get proper rest have an overall better mood, do better at learning,  and are happier in various situations.  

There is much you can do to help meet your toddler’s sleep matters.  I have listed  8 ways to help your toddler .    Where sleep is concerned we are aware, that darkness might be a little scary for your toddler.  However, you are also teaching your child to be comfortable  through a consistent routine.

  1.  Set a regular bedtime such as 8:00p.m. and consistent naptime routine such as 2:00 p.m.  
  2.  Create a comfortable bedroom that is quiet, restful, and distraction free in short ‘cosy and clutter free.’ 
  3. Avoid any screen time or  playing a game on your phone as it will stimulate instead of help your child to relax. 
  4. Read a favorite storybook .  Let your child chose so he/she feels in control of the bedtime routine.  
  5. Let you child choose their favorite toy or blanket to sleep with.
  6. Establish healthy hygiene habits before bedtime such as:  brush teeth, bathe, put on clean pajamas and again your child can select the pajamas to build confidence.
  7. Give your child a back rub, hug and kiss before leaving the room.
  8.  If your child needs his nightlight, turn it on.

Make your bedtime/naptime  routines with your toddler fun and memorial.  As you keep your consistency your child will benefit with better mood, better learning and positive energy.