Do you feel that your toddler’s bad sleep habits have become a serious problem? How were these habits developed at such a young age? Were they born with these sleep problems? How do you fix toddler bad sleep habits?
The truth is, the habits come from you as a parent. Don’t get me wrong, I am positive you are a great parent. However, sometimes our sleep habits carry over from us the parent. Mainly because we don’t know anything when we first become parents.
Most importantly, we don’t know how to train a child to sleep. To clarify, it is hard to realize but, a child needs to be trained to sleep the same way you teach him to get dressed or to eat with a fork.
So, your toddler’s bad sleep habits are from bad training not from being a bad parent. Now don’t get angry with me just yet. Hang with me I’m going somewhere and hopefully by the end of this article you understand how to fix your toddler’s serious bad sleep habits.
Have you ever noticed that when your dog is barking and you yell at your dog to stop they keep barking and that it seems even louder? Why is that? Most importantly, ever noticed that if you yell at your child the more you yell more upset he gets.
To clarify, that’s not what this article is about. However, it is relevant to my story. Researchers have discovered that when you yell at a dog while they are barking, he thinks you’re barking too. Therefore, he continues and only louder. To a dog, you are condoning his action of barking.
Likewise, when you yell at your child to stop doing something, he thinks it’s OK to yell back. That is to say, it is instinct. What does instinct have to do with sleep? Well, you may or may not know that sleep is an instinct too.
In other words, we work hard every day and we come home, sleep may be the closest thing in our mind but the furthest away from reality. Allow me to explain, after a long hard day when you get home your tired. But, your child still needs a nutritious meal, a bath, and a story before you even think about bedtime. Does it always work out this way? I am guessing not. However, I’m only using my personal experience here.
So, you finally get your toddler to sleep for the evening. By the way, did he fall straight to sleep, or was it a battle?
Therefore, your work at home is about to begin. You take a couple of hours to clean up, catch up on social media, spend time with your spouse, and possibly watch a little TV to unwind.
In short, when you finally do get to bed, do you fall straight to sleep, or do you stare at the ceiling for what seems hours? These last 2 questions are related. To clarify, we also need to train ourselves to sleep. If you want your toddler to go to bed early so that you can have time to do whatever you want to do in the evening. It is important to train him to sleep. However, keep in mind there are only so many hours in a day one can sleep. That is the instinct.
For example, if you want your child to sleep later in the morning, so you can have time for your morning. The initial thought is to try to put him down later. Here is a hint, putting him down later does not necessarily work. Instinct kicks in. More than likely they’re still gonna wake up early. Your child will normally get the instinctive amount of sleep that is required each night. Unless there’s a problem normally a child needs 10 or 12 hours of sleep
Take a Calm Approach
The one thing that I have been noticing, as my grandson gets older, is that he’s more on that 10-hour side instead of the 12-hour side.
So, what happened to the 2 hours? Well, two hours went to the naps he used to take. In other words, I have given up on the nap thing. No matter how much I attempted to force him to nap his instinct sets in and he develops a stronger will not to do as told. This is the fight or flight instinct, which I have noticed just causes more frustration between the two of us.
For example, last night he went to bed about 7:30, a little later than normal. We were out doing something. As a result, he was up at 6:00 AM ready to sprint into his day. However, I was not as ready as he was. I couldn’t help how frustrated I was with him as he was jumping all over me to get up. Consequently, he was starting to get frustrated as well.
The easier said than done, the right thing to do, is hide your feelings and just take it on the chin. It is tough but, yelling only adds fuel to the fire. When you are calm, your toddler will also calm down.
Don’t Walk Away
Sleep training is an everyday thing. You simply can’t just get him trained and then you walk away. That is to say, old habits still stay strong. One mistake I made last night and against everything I have been trying to teach him as far as sleep training goes, I allowed him to sleep in my bed last night.
OMG, you tyrant. To clarify, as far as sleep training goes I have been trying to adopt him to his new twin bed. And, I have been letting him fall asleep in my bed then moving him to his bed. However, last night it was late and I didn’t feel like moving him. As a result, by letting him sleep in my bed not only was my sleep affected he was up at 6:00 AM and ready to roll.
Moreover, the moral of the story is, in order to train your sleep train your child you must stay consistent.
Likewise, train your toddler’s bad sleep habits with a calm voice. It is the most important thing you could can do. Raising your voice in a sense gives your toddler permission to raise his voice back. Again, it’s instinct so the next time you think about your anger or your frustration think about how frustrated your child is.
Therefore, the way you express frustration teaches him to do the same thing. When it comes to sleep, if you’re frustrated about trying to get him down, he will be frustrated before he goes to sleep. This will keep him from falling asleep.
Something to always remember try to hide your feelings around your children because they imitate everything you do. Therefore, when you are sleep training, the best thing you can do is keep your voice calm let them see that your calm, and it will help them to calm down as well.
Thank you for reading this article. I truly hope that you are able to take something away from this. If you have the experience to share or would like to leave a comment feel free to comment below. I will make a point to answer your comments.