Sleep: An Elusive, Mysterious Thing
WHY WON’T MY CHILD SLEEP?! This is the battle cry of all parents of toddlers, who have rocked and read and changed and white noised until they feel they cannot go on. Sleep is an elusive, mysterious thing… and toddlers like to keep it unpredictable.
Until your child is 2 years old, she will require 14 hours a day of sleep. Generally about 12 of those hours will occur at night, with the remainder falling into a daily nap.
Continue a consistent bedtime and naptime ritual, even if you are away from home. Toddlers thrive on consistency and they love the predictability of knowing what comes next. If you are traveling, bring whatever items are necessary to make her temporary sleeping environment as cozy and “like home” as possible. Consider investing in a white noise machine or blackout curtains for her bedroom if she is struggling to fall asleep.
Developmental milestones can cause night waking. Your child might be so excited about her newfound verbal skills or ability to walk, that she wants to get up and practice them in the middle of the night. If she is crying and can’t settle down, going in to gently reassure her without turning on the lights is probably your safest bet.
Scary Mommy Tip: Check to make sure your toddler’s bedding and pajamas are soft and comfortable, without any scratchy tags or seams that might cause discomfort.