A preschool child may be waking up early because of an urge to use the bathroom. Someone suggested to walk my child to the bathroom before I went to bed (no talking, just put her on the potty) so her bladder would be empty, and thus reduce early wake-ups.
Chill Two Hours Before Bedtime
Joanna Varda has worked extensively with families and teachers to develop healthy daily routines that makes sense for children and their families. As a mother of four children and the Executive Director and co-owner of SCC Early Childhood Centers, (Skokie, IL) Joanna has experience developing sleep approaches for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children.
As a mother of four, and an early childhood director who works with infants through school-age children, I can attest to the need to have consistent nap times and bedtimes/routines, in addition to minimizing the stimuli in the environment around the child for at least two hours before bedtime. Too often, as busy parents and professionals, it’s easy to park a child in front of the television or hand them an electronic device to keep them quiet, while we go about multitasking all day and all night. This leads to children who have an impaired ability to self regulate, self soothe, and a general inability to quiet their mind… All of these capacities are required in order for a child to wind down and fall asleep deeply enough to get that restorative sleep.
Additionally, parents often think that the more they wear their child out, the better they will sleep. In fact, this method most often backfires. Toddler and preschool children still need to nap during the daytime, and recognizing and responding quickly to your child’s sleep signals ensures you do not miss that narrow window of opportunity to put them down for a nap. Children who do not nap well during the daytime often have difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep at night. Keep in mind, including naps, toddlers still require 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day and preschoolers still require 10 to 13 hours of sleep. Creating and sticking to a consistent sleep routine, as well as limiting stimuli in the child’s environment will have deep and lasting effects on the quality and quantity of sleep they obtain. Remember: a well rested child equals a happier child, and a happier child equals a happier family!
Give it a little bit..
Emily is a wife, mother and a full time pediatric occupational therapist. She is also attempting to write a blog on the side to offer support, advice and to have a community filled with others in the same stages of life.
Wait 10 mins! It’s hard at first but a lot of times they will put themselves back to sleep without fussing
WIRED = TIRED
Sapna has been practicing pediatrics for almost 20 years. She is passionate about caring for children and partnering with their families to keep them safe and healthy.
A couple of tips to make sure your child is getting enough sleep: In contrast to the tired, groggy adult, children who are overtired may actually act very awake and alert…even wired. Wired = Tired in my book. So if your kiddo seems to be ramping up at bedtime instead of winding down, this may be a sign that your bedtime routine needs to start earlier. I have been known to have my toddler in bed at 5:30 especially if they missed a nap that day.
If early waking is a the problem at your house then use a digital timer and lamp to make a cheap and easy “ok to wake clock“. Start by having it turn on at the time your child is waking and then move it later by 2-3 minutes every 2-3 days until you get to the time you want your child to get out of bed. Must have a consistent routine.
You Have Permission to Night Wean
Amber is a brand therapist, copywriter, junkie of all things heart-fuelled, rocker of adversity and a single mama of one.
“If you’re still a nursing mama, consider this your permission to night wean. It wasn’t until someone gave me this EXACT advice, that I finally decided they were right. Your toddler DOES NOT need to eat at night anymore. I remember thinking I was a ‘bad mom’ for not saying yes every time he wanted to nurse. It wasn’t until I began night weaning that I realized that was not only the best thing for him, but it was also the best thing for me. We co-sleep and nurse to this day (he’s 4.5 now) and the process was a slow and gradual one. We began at 18 months and it took about a year because of illness and travel, but just a month shy of 2.5, he was officially sleeping through the night. Honestly, I never thought he would sleep as well as he does now, but I’m so thankful for taking an intuitive approach to night weaning, breaking each feed individually until there were none left.”
Just Roll With It
Shanna blogs at peytonsmomma.com about family/lifestyle/elementary age children topics. She likes to share tips and tricks she has discovered help make her life run smoother.
Just roll with it. Each child is different and there’s no right way to get a child to sleep. For us giving my daughter a warm bath with lavender and then slathering lavender lotion on her seemed to help calm her down. Then I made sure she LOVED her bed. She had Sofia the First coming out her ears! And a night light. I also made a playlist of instrumental lullabies and played them on repeat all. night. long. This seemed to help a ton. And when she did wake up I would just let her snuggle with me. I learned to pick my battles. And if at the end of the day the worse thing was my toddler coming in my bed for half the night then so be it. Everyone needs sleep and this worked for us.
Educate on the Hows and Whys of Sleep
Carrie is a Holistic Health Coach who helps busy moms build healthier, happier families!
Be sure to create a consistent routine, so your child knows what’s expected of them at bedtime. Educate them on the hows and whys of healthy sleep habits, and let them know your expectations of them as it relates to sleep. I’ve found that this piece is the key to compliance as it relates to a lot of behavior issues with toddlers (I also see this a lot with picky eaters!). Also, another little tip for those who have early wakers, get the Ok To Wake! Alarm clock – it lights up when it’s ok for them to come out of their room. This helped us get a few extra minutes of sleep when my daughter was waking up before we were ready for her