How to Solve Sleep Problems for Toddlers and Preschoolers (BFBN)
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Almost every Monday, I do a live video on Facebook answering questions from readers.
Almost every single week, I get questions about troubles with sleep, usually naps, for older babies, young toddlers, and preschoolers. I have on common set of questions for these parents.
How is child’s exercise? How is the child’s mental stimulation?
If your child was sleeping well and suddenly stops sleeping well, there can be a variety of reasons. There are many reasons for poor sleep.
By the time you have an older baby, toddler, or preschooler, you are quiet accustomed to considering all of these factors.
You know to watch for waketime length, nap length, and teething signs. But do you consider exercise and stimulation?
Add it to your list. Here is why.
The Importance of Exercise for Sleep
You will find sleep negatively impacted during the coldest of months when you hunker down inside to hide from the bitter cold outdoors.
Sleep problems will pop up after a few rainy days when you have been stuck indoors. You will notice your child isn’t napping as well even on hot days when you stay inside the air-conditioned house.
On these days, your child is not getting enough exercise. In Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (affiliate link), Weissbluth states that if your baby is not sleeping well, you need to evaluate physical activity.
Work to get enough physical activity into your child’s day so he will be tired at nap time and bedtime. Here are some ideas (affiliate links below):
- Go outside anyway. Dress for the weather and try to get some outside time in each day.
- Play inside. Get a mini trampoline. Get a ball pit. Search for gross motor activities. Turn some music on and dance to it. Do front roll-overs. Do jumping jacks. Run in place. Set up an obstacle course.
- Get out of the house. Go to an indoor play place. Go to an indoor trampoline play place or go to an indoor gym where your child can run around and get exercise.
- Sign up for organized sports. Once your child is old enough, sign up for indoor physical activities. Dance class or gymnastics can be great. Karate is fun. Swimming lessons take a lot of physical effort. Find something indoor that your child can do to get that extra exercise in.
This week is a big week of blogging for the ladies of the Babywise Friendly Blogging Network (read more about it –> HERE). Our topic is Babywise and sleep. Every day Mon-Fri there will be at least one post on the subject. You can find the links to all of them below:
Once you move on up into the toddler and preschool years, sleep troubleshooting often looks different to troubleshooting sleep issues for babies.
Val does a wonderful job of clearly outlining how much mental and physical exercise affects the sleep of toddlers and preschoolers.
She gives helpful tips to work through any issues you might be having.
Caitlin – Twin Mom and More
7 Ways To Establish Good Sleep Habits From Birth (must-read for expecting moms)
Sleep training is often recommended to be started only after a baby is 4-months old. Really, it is up to the parent’s discretion. However, it is never too early to start establishing healthy sleep habits.
Caitlin has written a brilliant post that gives practical and helpful tips to get you started.
This is a perfect post for the new or expecting mom!
Natasha – Let’s Be Brave
This is often a transition that moms dread because they’re not sure how to go about it.
It can also be daunting wondering what you’re going to do with your child during the hours that they would normally be asleep for.
Natasha has written a great summary of how to know when your child is ready for this transition, as well as how to go about implementing it.
Katrina – Mama’s Organized Chaos
The transition that daunted me more than the 2-1 nap transition was definitely the one where naps are said goodbye to entirely.
Dropping the final nap does not mean that your child does not still need some amount of rest during the day.
Katrina has written up a post that will help you as the parent identify if your child is indeed ready for this last nap transition.
Kim – Team Cartwright
Our kids go to bed at the same time almost every night. They very rarely fall asleep straight away, and I personally have no issue with that.
Kim has written this post to address why its totally okay and actually something you might want! Kids don’t have to fall asleep straight away.
Christine – Christine Keys
Has your baby got colic, reflux, or is just high needs?
You may write Babywise off because your baby is considered outside of the range of ‘normal’.
This post is written to encourage you to reconsider as Babywise has been known to be successful for all kinds of babies. In fact, many moms give testament to it making their lives so much easier!
Carrie – Wiley Adventures
There is a ton of information out there about how to implement healthy sleep habits for babies, however, I love that Carrie has written a post about how to continue that with older children.
Older children still have difficulties with sleep at times and still require healthy boundaries in order to flourish.
Emily – The Journey of Parenthood
Believe it or not but babies are not all the same. Rocket science, right?
In all seriousness, this post from Emily on addressing levels of sleep needs is incredibly helpful as a parent.
It is so important to be able to recognise in the individual needs of our children so that we can do our best to set them up for success.