Your toddler waking in the night

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Why the sudden waking? You may be mystified as to why your little one has lost the ability to sleep through the night in the angelic way he or she used to, but it is actually quite common during your child’s development for their sleeping pattern to become irregular.

Why do toddlers wake in the night?

Many factors can affect your toddler’s sleeping, including the activities they participate in throughout the day, as contrary to belief, over stimulation of your toddler’s body and mind throughout the day can cause restlessness at night, causing frequent waking.

Significant changes of environment such as moving house, going on holiday, moving rooms or beds can affect your little one’s sleep, or a change such as the arrival of a younger sibling. 

Conditions such as teething, and illnesses such as common colds, rendering your child bunged up in his or her sinuses, nose and ears, can also disrupt your little one at night. Changes in season could also affect your child’s sleep pattern, the cold or heat could cause your toddler to struggle with staying asleep, also any seasonal increased light levels may cause further wakefulness; black out blinds could help with this.

What can I do to help my child stay asleep?

  • Try to make sure your toddler gets an adequate nap at some point in the day, sleep deprivation can reduce the quality of sleep your little one gets at night; although it may take some trial and error to find a nap time that still allows your child to be tired at bed time.
  • Make sure your child has a well-established bedtime routine to help him or her wind down before bed time, for example having a bath and being read a story.
  • At this age your little one’s imagination may be getting the better of them, causing nightmares or night terrors, introduction of a night light and a familiar comfort such as a blanket or soft toy can provide comfort to your little one at night time.