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2 Year Old Sleep Training: How to Avoid Common Sleep Problems



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Hi, I'm Jilly Blankenship from Baby Sleep Made Simple. In this video I'm going to

discuss and give advice for the top sleep problems that 2 year olds go

through. Sleep problem #1: A late bedtime linked or inconsistent bedtimes

make toddlers sleep worse not better. It's safe to say that if your toddler's

bedtime is 9 pm or later then he's gonna wake up more often at night or

earlier in the morning. Sometimes both. Your toddler's body clock is naturally

programmed for a bedtime between 6:30 - 8:00 pm. Now one of the reasons why

your toddler may have a late bedtime is because of a late nap or a long daytime

nap. Make sure your toddler's nap falls right in the middle of his day. At 2

years old I recommend limiting your toddler's nap time. When your little

one turns 2 you want to limit nap time to 2 hours. When your toddler turns

2.5 trim down the nap to 1.5 hours and when your toddler

turns 3 make sure that he only naps for one hour every day. As your toddler

gets older he needs less day time to sleep in order to preserve his nighttime

sleep. Your toddler may also have a late bedtime because he's fighting it from

normal 2 year old resistance. It's completely normal for our 2 year olds

to test the limits and to question why they have to do things. They're testing

their independence which is a good thing. A great way to combat this is by having

a firm ending to your bedtime routine. Let your toddler know that every night

once you sing twinkle twinkle little star or read a specific book then that's

a sign that the bedtime routine is over and it's time for him to go to sleep. You

never want to deviate from this by giving in to demands for one more song

or one more book. A great idea is to put a bedtime chart on your toddler's

bedroom wall. It's got the order of the bedtime routine and exactly what

activities will be included. You can't deviate from this because it's

there on the wall for your toddler to see it. Sleep problem #2 is the

2 year sleep regression. Sleep regressions are sudden disruptions in

sleep for a child who is previous sleeping well and they often coincide

with your child's development. Signs of the 2 year sleep regression are

fighting bedtime or naps out of the blue, waking more at night all

of a sudden, increased clinginess, fuzziness or restlessness in your

toddler and also nightmares. Now if your toddler was sleeping well before the

regression hit the best thing that you can do is just stick tight to your

consistent sleep routines and sleep timing. It's gonna be a little bit more

difficult for your little one to settle down and fall asleep but try your best

to keep up with your consistent sleep routine. Your little one may need more

comfort or support during this time but try not to deviate from your typical

sleep routines too much. If possible keep your toddler sleeping in his crib all

night long and it's even better if you can get him falling asleep on his own. If

he needs more reassurance than normal it's okay to sit quietly in a chair in

his bedroom for him to fall asleep at bedtime and maybe even if he wakes

during the night. But try to avoid pulling him out of his crib and changing

his sleep environment like pulling him into your bed or rocking him to sleep

for several times during the night. The more familiarity and consistency you can

keep in a sleep routine then the better he'll bounce back once the regression

passes. Now if your toddler wasn't sleeping well before the regression passed

then the best thing you can do is start today teaching your toddler to sleep

well. My free Exhausted Mom's Survival Kit walks you through the initial steps

of setting your toddler up to sleep through the night. You can get more info

on it in the description below. Sleep problem #3: Separation anxiety.

If your little one is going through big changes, like starting daycare, welcoming

a new sibling or potty training then separation anxiety can increase. In times

of change your little ones sleep can often suffer and she may look to you for

comfort or stability. It's a completely normal phase of development and it's not

a sign that something is wrong. The intensity can vary from child to child

as well. One thing you can do to ease your 2 year old's separation anxiety is

to be present. Find moments in the day where you can spend quality time with

your little one 1-on-1 without any distractions.

Put your phone away and let your little one sit on your lap and read a book

together play a game or just chat about your day. When it's time to sleep explain

to your 2 year old that you're always nearby. If she gets really upset with the

idea of sleeping alone then it's okay to sit quietly in a chair in her bedroom

for her to fall asleep both at bedtime and during the night. This is a great way

to keep her in her familiar sleep environment with her familiar sleep

routines but adding in some extra comfort and security. Something else you

can do to help ease your toddler's separation anxiety is offer a lovey. A

lovey is really any item that brings comfort to your child. Usually it's a

stuffed animal or a blanket. It's a buddy that can help your 2 year old through

tough times as he transitions from dependence to independence over the

first few years of his life. Encourage your toddler to cuddle and sleep with

his buddy so it can keep him company in the night. Sleep problem #4:

Nightmares and night terrors. Nightmares are bad dreams that wake your toddler in

the night and cause him to cry or be upset. Nightmares are completely normal

and they're usually caused by over tiredness, a growing imagination, certain

books or videos or maybe a scary encounter that happened during

the day like coming across a big frightening dog. Now what makes

nightmares unique is that you can wake your toddler up from them and you can

explain that it's not real and that your toddler safe and usually your toddler is

comforted and falls back to sleep. Now night terrors are different. It's

impossible to wake your child up from a night terror. But the good news is they

usually don't remember them. You just have to sit next to your child and wait

it out. Night terrors are usually caused by chronic over tiredness, sickness,

stress and anxiety or jet lag. You always want to make sure that your toddler

feels safe in his bedroom. So remove any posters or stuffed animals that may

cause him to be afraid during the night. Also do an inventory of his books and

any videos he might be watching. Maybe there's a villain or a

bad person that's really too much for him to handle at this age and it's

better for him to watch something simpler maybe like Peppa Pig. Also during

the day when your toddler is awake and happy have a simple discussion and ask

him if anything's bothering him, if she's worried about anything or if anything's

just been scaring him lately. Let him know that you're always nearby watching

over him as he sleeps and it can always let you know if something's bothering

him. Sleep problem #5 is coming into parents bed at night. Now the

easiest way to prevent your 2 year old from coming into your bed at night is to

keep him in the crib. Ideally you want to keep your toddler in the crib as long as

possible until age 3 or even age 4. Don't transition your toddler to a

toddler bed because you think it would be cute or you think it's an important

milestone for him to reach. Wait until he is repeatedly crawling out of the crib

over and over and over and this becomes a safety risk. If this is the case for

your toddler and the crib is no longer an option then check out my description

below I have a guide on how to keep your toddler in his toddler bed all night

long. Sleep problem #6: Snoring. If your toddler occasionally snores like

when she's sick then it's really not anything that you need to worry about.

It's only if your toddler is regularly snoring at night and seeming really

tired during the day then it could be a sign of something bigger. So if that's

the case make sure you speak to your child's doctor about it. Constant night

wakings are exhausting especially if you've been dealing with them for too

long years. Your 2 year old can be expected to sleep 11 to 12 hours

straight every night without needing to wake up.

Now if your toddler's sleep problems or night wakings are recent then it's

probably due to one of the sleep problems that we've just discussed. So

following my advice for several days consistently will get your 2 year old

sleep back on track. But if your 2 year old has never really

consistently slept well, don't worry! It's never too late to teach your toddler to

sleep well at night and during the day. My free Exhausted Mom's

Survival Kit it tells you exactly how to set your toddler up to sleep really, really

well at night. So you can get more information on it in the description

below. Ok there you have it the seven main

sleep problems that 2 year olds struggle with. I hope you enjoy this

video. If you have any questions for me you can ask me in the comments here. Make

sure you hit subscribe and also check out my toddler playlist here on my

youtube channel. It's got lots of advice and tips for other sleep problems that

toddlers have. Ok guys we'll speak soon, see you later.