We adults are likely to slow down when we’re tired and get on bed at night. The day long hectic works creates an urge of a good night sleep, and that’s very 'usual' to anyone of any age. 'But what’s wrong with my baby?'- We know that question will be coming in your mind right now.
Well, there are some actual reasons (that you can deal with) behind sleep deprivation of toddlers. And the hard part is, insufficient sleep makes babies even more active. So, detecting the symptoms and figuring out the issue is a really hard nut to crack.
But don’t give up yet. On behalf of you, we spent a number of hours researching on the same problem (and the remedies as well). And this whole article will be a demonstration of what we’ve learned so far. Keep reading and at the end of the content, that eyebrow of yours won’t be raised anymore.
Toddler Fight To Sleep- The Most Common Reasons
1. Baby overly chilled or overheated
If your baby is overly chilled or overheated, he definitely is not going to sleep so early. Or if he’s sleeping, will wake up soon. If too serious, your baby may show one or more of the following signs-
Usually, if he is overheated, you will feel the warmth by touching him. Overheating commonly happens during summer. But there are always chances of overheating in other seasons too. Your baby may get hot in fall or even in winter.
Therefore, keep checking the body temperature time to time at night. Start with checking the room temperature and turning down the heater if necessary. Check whether you have dressed up your baby with too many layered clothes.
2. Baby isn’t tired enough
Tiredness is obviously conducive to baby’s sleep as the body needs relaxation. For a younger baby, there’s less possibility that he’s fighting to sleep because he’s not tired. This is because babies up to 12 months need shorter wake period. But the elder toddler usually passes a long time waking and doing other staff.
So, next time (surely tonight) when your toddler will cry for not to go to bed, rewind how much time your baby kept awake.
3. Uncomfortable mattress and pillow
Uncomfortable bedding can discourage your baby from going to bed.
A mattress that doesn’t fit the crib will surely discourage your child from sleeping. If the mattress is too firm your baby may not feel the comfort. Again, if the pillows and mattresses are too soft, your baby may drown in it and may have problem breathing. Also, the materials of which the mattress are made is important. It may be innerspring, foam, latex etc.
Moreover, if the bedding is dirty, your baby won’t feel like sound sleep. Wet mattress even causes rashes on the body. If the bed has a waterproof cover, remove and wash it time to time.
4. Separation anxiety!
If your baby is less than 10 months old, then you don’t have to worry about this. Separation anxiety strikes the toddlers generally after 9-10 months. But sometimes it may strike even earlier, around 8 months. It reaches the peak when your baby is 18 months.
5. Nighttime fears
Even when we grown-up people are too tensed about something, have nightmares. At the age of your child, their imagination power greatly improves. They start imagining their toy dinosaur as a real one. Or the monster from his favorite comic book is real.
Nightmare can be a cause that your baby’s having trouble sleeping. Maybe he is also afraid of monsters. But you should not make fun of his fear.
Assure him that you’re near him all the time while he’s sleeping. Also, don’t trick by using ‘monster spray’ or a ‘watch pet’ and confirming him that ghosts are hanging out in the room. But instead, make him believe that no such creepy creature does exist.
Taking them On the Bed- What to Do?
1. Rearrange Sleeping Schedule
Rescheduling his sleep for the entire day can develop your baby’s sleeping habit.
First, check out his current sleep schedule. Learn what should be the total waking hour and sleep hour for a kid of his age. As the required hour for sleep changes with age, you should move on to the new schedule.
If he is used to a midday sleep, wake him up after a certain hour so that he can’t sleep too long. Again, older toddlers can go a whole day without taking a nap. Rather it helps them with earlier nighttime sleep as they get tried enough. What I am saying is just know the need and help him get accustomed to his new schedule.
2. Create a calm environment to sleep
The bedroom environment plays an important role in making your baby calm and sleepy. These are the little elements that create a comfortable and peaceful environment.
Turn off all the bright lights before sleeping. Bright lights can interfere with the hormone release that regulates the sleep. Instead of making the room completely dark, you can use a mild night light.
3. Make their bed comfortable to sleep
Uncomfortable bedding not only keeps him away from the bed but also interfere with the sleep. Check the pillows and mattresses are enough to provide him comfort. Also, check the size of bedding is ok or not as he grows faster.
4. Adjusting Your baby feeding
Younger babies usually fall asleep just after eating. Older toddlers create trouble. Again, if your baby frequently falls asleep while feeding him, then definitely it’s a problem. There’s a risk of aspirating fluid into the lungs. Also, the chances of tooth decay and ear infection increases. Gradually reducing the volume of milk can be a solution to this.
5. Give a reward for positive bedtime behavior
‘Employee of the year’ encourages employees for more responsible attitude. The same psychology works here. Tell him you will reward him for his punctuality. But it’s equally important that you keep your promise. Otherwise, it’ll create a negative impact on him.
6. Connect with Them before Bedtime
While interacting with the baby during bedtime behave so that he feels more connected to you. Read bedtime stories (avoid ghost story) or sing him a lullaby. Hug and kiss him. Wish him goodnight. If he’s afraid of any creepy concept of monster, confirm him that you’re not going to leave him. You can also indulge him in some comforting activities like arts and puzzles. If he’s used to taking a bath before sleeping, make it soothing.
If he still refuses to sleep, don’t yell at him. Your anger can draw a negative picture in his mind and feed up his fear at night. Speak softly to him and smile. It helps.
Important! Before You Go!
I hope now you know the five reasons why your baby’s fighting not to sleep earlier and what to do. Besides, nobody knows your baby better than you. So with a little patient, you can certainly work on it.